Evgen Pharma Plc (LON:EVG) is a virtual pharmaceutical company focused on the development of a synthetic version of a natural product, sulforaphane, which is known to modulate key signalling pathways involved in cellular protection and inflammation. Evgen’s proprietary technology, Sulforadex, creates new and stable variants of sulforaphane, enabling it to be used as a therapeutic for the first time. Its lead candidate, SFX-01, has entered Phase II clinical trials for both subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) and ER+ metastatic breast cancer with an expected read out of results in 1H 2018.
► Strategy: Evgen is focused on the clinical development of synthetic and stable variants derived from sulforaphane using its proprietary technology, Sulforadex. Lead candidate SFX-01 is entering Phase II trials for both SAH and breast cancer, both strategic entry portals for other uses in neurology and oncology.
► Sulforaphane: An established natural product known to modulate signalling pathways involved in cellular protection (oxidative stress response) and inflammation. However, use of sulforaphane as a therapeutic has been held back by its instability, a problem resolved using the Sulforadex technology.
► SFX-01: First of a potential series of stable synthetic variants of sulforaphane. Patient recruitment has commenced, and is about to commence, for Phase II clinical trials in subarachnoid haemorrhage and ER+ metastatic breast cancer respectively. Headline results are expected during 1H 2018.
► Risks: As with all drug development companies, there is a risk that products will fail in clinical trials. However, sulforaphane has been through a number of encouraging clinical trials despite its stability and dosing limitations. Therefore, the Evgen Pharma Plc risk profile is arguably reduced.
► Investment summary: SFX-01 would be entering multi-billion dollar global markets which are currently unsatisfied. There is also potential use in other indications. Evgen intends to out-license its drugs to the pharmaceutical majors for global commercialisation. The enterprise value afforded Evgen by the market does not reflect properly the development stage and lower than usual risk profile of SFX-01.