Immupharma Plc (LON:IMM) Non-Executive Chairman Tim McCarthy talks to DirectorsTalk about the latest interim’s (for the 6 month period ending 30th June 2017), the current status of the Phase III pivotal trial and safety importance. Tim also the use of the phrase ‘planning ahead in anticipation of the trial’s successful outcome’ and the activities they plan to accomplish over the next few months, the plans for the rest of 2017, confidence in announcing top line results and interest from potential licensing partners.
There are an estimated five million people globally suffering from Lupus, with approximately 1.5 million patients in the US, Europe and Japan (Source: Lupus Foundation of America). Current ‘standard of care’ treatments, including steroids and immunosuppressants, can potentially have either serious side effects for patients or limited effectiveness, with over 60% of patients not adequately treated. GSK’s Benlysta is the first Lupus drug approved in many years and paves the path to market for Lupuzor™. Based on conservative estimates, and taking into account that Benlysta is priced currently at approximately US$30,000 per patient per year, Lupuzor™ would be entering a market with the potential for multi-billion dollar sales.
Lupuzor™ has the potential to be a novel specific first-line drug therapy for the treatment of Lupus by specifically modulating the immune system and halting disease progression in a substantial proportion of patients. Lupuzor™ has a unique mechanism of action that modulates the activity of CD4 T-cells which are involved in the cell-mediated immune response which leads to the Lupus disease. Lupuzor™, taken over the long term, as indicated in earlier stage clinical trials, has the potential to prevent the progression of Lupus rather than just treating its symptoms, with the rest of the immune system retaining the ability to work normally.
There will be a number of routes to market for Lupuzor™ which could include: a global licensing deal; ImmuPharma partnering with regional distributors, or an outright sale of Lupuzor™ or the Company. The prime objective of any strategy would be to maximise shareholder return.
The Board are excited by ImmuPharma’s medium and long term potential. We are focused on the late stage clinical development of Lupuzor™ through its pivotal Phase III trial and are looking forward with confidence to announcing top-line data by the end of the first quarter of 2018. We will also continue to communicate on a regular basis with shareholders as this trial progresses.
ImmuPharma Plc will also continue to look at ways to create further value in its assets as it progresses its other earlier stage pipeline candidates whilst exploring other opportunities around Lupuzor’s™ mechanism of action and its applicability to other autoimmune conditions.