Biotech company Invex Therapeutics (ASX:IVX) got off to a flyer when it joined the ASX boards on Friday.

The company raised $12m at IPO via the issuance of 30m shares at 40c each. The stock commenced trading at 60c and closed on Friday at $1.075 — a healthy premium of 169 per cent to the listing price.

After a hot start the price cooled off a bit today, with IVX shares down 5 per cent in afternoon trade at $1.02.

Invex’s core valuation proposition is to build out a commercial use for Exenatide — a pre-approved diabetes drug — and repurpose it for use in the treatment of neurological conditions associated with intracranial pressure (ICP – pressure on the brain).

The team’s early focus is on the application of Exenatide to treat symptoms of intracranial hypertension (IIH) resulting from ICP, which can include headaches and ringing in the ears.

Invex has listed in Australia with the support of billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who owns a 9 per cent stake in the company via his Minderoo Group investment vehicle.

Easing the pressure

Invex’s commercial proposition is based on 10 years of research carried out at the University of Birmingham by Dr Alexandra Sinclair, the company’s chief scientific officer.

A clinician scientist and neurology consultant, Sinclair highlighted the commercial use-case for a simple treatment for IIH. “Although IIH is a relatively rare condition, our work has shown that its incidence has increased by 350 per cent in the last 10 years,” Sinclair said.

Exenatide was first approved as a diabetes treatment by US regulators in 2005. Through testing on animals, Sinclair has so far demonstrated that the application of Exenatide via injection beneath the skin was shown to “reduce intracranial pressure”.

Speaking with Stockhead, Invex non-executive director David McAuliffe said the ASX has been an efficient platform to bring European technologies to market for the last 25 years.

“The Australian market has an appetite for biotech and it has proven to be a successful model,” he said.

With some extra cash in the bank, Invex will acquire the intellectual property developed by the University of Birmingham, which has patents pending and has also received “Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of IIH ” in the US and Europe.

A phase II clinical trial for the treatment of IIH in the US and Europe, and a proof of concept for the drug’s application in the treatment of ICP caused by trauma and stroke, is now underway.