• Island Pharmaceuticals inks deal to develop a treatment for potentially deadly viruses like Ebola
  • Amplia recruits key 26th patient in Phase 2a trial of new treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer 
  • Melodiol Global Health records unaudited revenue of $4.8m in Q2 CY24, a 9% increase on Q1


Island Pharmaceuticals (ASX:ILA) has inked a deal with Nasdaq-listed  BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, which could see it develop a treatment for potentially deadly viruses – including Ebola – for which there are no approved therapies.

The antiviral drug development company has signed a term sheet with BioCryst to acquire galidesivir, a clinical-stage antiviral molecule that exhibits antiviral activity against several different viruses, including Ebola, Zika and Marburg.

Under the non-binding term sheet, Island will pay BioCryst a US$50,000 fee for the option to acquire the galidesivir program with a 12-month expiry upon execution of an option agreement.

CEO and managing director David Foster says given the option has a 12-month expiry, no immediate additional funding is required to service this program.

“We are preserving the option to, during the next 12 months, take over development of BioCryst’s galidesivir program,” he says.

“The identification of this particular antiviral molecule follows more than three years of research from Island into a variety of molecules as part of our pipeline diversification strategy.”

He says ILA was looking for an asset with safety data and was a small molecule which had anti-viral activity and was eligible for a Priority Review Voucher, which expedites the US FDA review process.

“It also needed to fit in with our interest in supporting national and military preparedness, with potential to attract non-dilutive funding in support of clinical studies,” Foster says.

“We feel that galidesivir ticks each of these boxes.”


Amplia achieves milestone in advanced pancreatic cancer trial

Amplia (ASX:ATX) has achieved a key milestone in its effort to treat advanced pancreatic cancer.  ATX says it has completed recruitment its key 26th patient in the Phase 2a stage of its clinical trial investigating narmafotinib in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.

The ACCENT trial explores the use of narmafotinib in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy of gemcitabine and
Abraxane in first-line patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

The Phase 1b stage of the trial was completed in November 2023 and identified a 400 mg oral daily dose of narmafotinib, given in the days preceding regular chemotherapy infusion, as safe and well tolerated.

ATX says the Phase 1b dosing regimen is being used in the Phase 2a trial where drug efficacy is being assessed.  Under the trial design the biotech says an efficacy assessment showing six or more partial or complete responses out of the 26 patients will be sufficient to continue the trial, when an additional 24 patients will be enrolled, giving a total of 50 patients.

CEO and managing director Dr Chris Burns says recruitment of the 26th patient is an important milestone for the company, with the interim analysis forecast to reported around the beginning of Q4 2024.

“Imaging data for the first patients from this cohort is now being collated and efficacy signals to date mirror the positive data previously reported from the Phase 1b stage of the trial.”

The ACCENT trial is currently being conducted at six sites in Australia and five sites in South Korea.


Mernova’s Canadian subsidiary boosts Q2 growth

Cannabis play Melodiol Global Health (ASX:ME1)  has released its Q2 CY24 results including unaudited revenue of $4.8m, a 9% increase on Q1 CY24.

ME1 says growth was underpinned by strong results at its wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary Mernova, which during Q2 confirmed unaudited purchase orders of $2m (C$1.8m) – a 25% increase on Q1.

The company says Mernova has confirmed purchase orders for Q3 of ~$452k (C$411k), providing a strong foundation for the quarter.

ME1 says during Q2 Mernova achieved a variety of key objectives, including the introduction of a new product category with edibles, the approval of numerous new SKUs in existing provinces,  new vaporiser flavours and a supply agreement to source additional capacity to keep up with strong demand.

During Q2 ME1 says its wholly owned Health House International (HHI) subsidiary, which distributes medical cannabis in Australia and other medical products in Europe, achieved $2.8m in sales between its Australian and UK divisions.

The company says it is committed to rationalising non-core business units, while focusing on its core divisions, Mernova and HHI in an effort to achieve profitability as quickly as possible.

“During the last year, the company has completed a step change in terms of revenue size, and we are sharply focused on Mernova and HHI as our core business units,” CEO and managing director William Lay says.

“By focusing on these business units, and rationalising non-core business units, all of our teams are working hard to achieve group profitability as quickly as possible.”



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