Vectus plans to level up from dog to human trials of fibrosis drug – but cash is tight
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
Link copied to
Vectus Biosystems plans to start human trials of a fibrosis-reversal drug early next year after dog toxicology trials showed “no adverse effects”.
Earlier this year Vectus (ASX:VBS) applied for an experimental licence to continue animal testing of its VB0004 drug with the US medical regulator, according to its annual report.
The experimental drug is a reversal treatment for fibrosis in the heart and kidneys.
Fibrosis is a disease where healthy tissues are replaced by scar tissue. It is the main cause of heart and kidney failure in people with high blood pressure or diabetes.
Vectus says animal trial results have so far been consistent with test tube results.
“No adverse effects were observed after doses of 2000 milligrams per kilogram were administered to dogs daily for seven days.
“This represents an exposure more than 10,000 times the anticipated therapeutic dose in humans.”
First phase human clinical trials are planned for early 2018.
Vectus (ASX:VBS) is also trying to commercialise Accugen, an in-house technology that can improve the speed and accuracy of measuring DNA and RNA in lab samples.
Vectus plans to evaluate its commercial potential next year, after finishing pre-commercial customer trials.
Capital raising required
Vectus’s annual report, one of only 12 updates the company has sent to investors in 2017, also notes the company’s financial challenges.
Vectus made a full year loss of $3.8 million and had about $517,000 left at the end of June.
Auditor UHY Haines Norton said Vectus’s ability to continue was dependent on capital raising plans.
“There is a risk that the group may not be successful in implementing these initiatives,” it said.
“These conditions … indicate material uncertainty that may cast doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
Vectus raised $5.1 million when it listed in February 2016 — about half the $10 million it was seeking. The company was founded in 2005.
Vectus is still working on funding options first flagged in July.
It’s anticipating a $1.3 million R&D tax refund, and is also in talks for a $1.3 million loan as an interim measure.
There are talks with brokers, investors “and other sources” for over $2 million, and with potential partners to fund trials.
“Vectus is also finalising an agreement with an international consulting firm that specialises in non dilutive fundraising, particularly grant funding,” it said.
The company has been contacted for comment.
Vectus shares were flat by midday at $1.33.