Here’s another tech sector Australia is still holding out on – personalised medicine
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Targeted cancer drug developer Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) is finding it easier to drum up support in the US than Australia, thanks to its greater understanding of personalised medicine, according to its CEO.
Prescient has raised $9.1 million, with $7 million of that coming from a placement to new institutional and sophisticated investors, and a further $2.1 million from an underwritten rights issue to existing shareholders.
The company is developing two drugs that target multiple cancers based on their genetic profile. Personalised medicine has become a hot topic of late; a scientist at the University of South Australia recently claimed the Australian healthcare system could save billions of dollars “wasted each year through unsafe and ineffective drug prescriptions”.
CEO Steven Yatomi-Clarke said his company had enjoyed plenty of support when he was in New York trying to raise money, saying the $7 million had been “cornerstoned by some US life science investors”.
“Targeted therapies are very hot over there,” he told Stockhead. “Here they are poorly understand, but in the US it is a different story, and there have been a number of companies recently bought out for incredible amounts of money.”
He is referring to the likes of Viralytics and Loxo Oncology, two companies active in the oncology field that were bought out by big pharma for big sums.
The company is currently conducting four clinical trials at hospitals in the US, which Mr Yatomi-Clarke said made the pitch even stronger.
“Being able to say that we are conducting our trials in the US, led by leading US experts, carried a lot of weight,” he said.
However he says there is a lack of competition in the personalised medicine field in Australia, as it lags behind the knowledge in the US.
“It’s a blessing and a curse,” Mr Yatomi-Clarke said. “The therapies just aren’t there right now, and I think there is a lack of analysis up and down Collins St in Melbourne.
“But we are looking to do more and more here in Australia; we plan to open our first Australian site for our PTX-100 study hopefully in the next couple of months.”