Zeus Capital Healthcare Research Director Dr Gary Waanders caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB)
Q1: Now, you updated your coverage on Motif Bio PLC today, could you summarise the highlights for us?
A1: Certainly. So, I think the main point in the update was the recent NASDAQ IPO which raised $25 million, before expenses. This is important because it funds REVIVE I to completion, now REVIVE I is the first of two ongoing Phase III clinical trials of Iclaprim, the company’s antibiotic in development for serious skin infections. It has fully recruited all of the, roughly, 600 patients for study in a fairly rapid timeframe which we believe indicates a strong clinical demand for new antibiotic treatment options for these serious infections. Being as close as we are now in time to critical data points we also highlight the potential opportunity for rapid positive value inflection in the note.
Q2: So, what are the key events that we should be focussing on over the next 12 months?
A2: So, as I just mentioned, we’ve got data from REVIVE I coming out, that should be in Q2, so just a few months away, and I think we should see strong share price performance and value growth to the company. We expect this data to drive interest from both the investor side but also potentially from industry players, all of whom have been waiting for this key information.
The other bit of news will be around REVIVE II, this is expected to report results in the second half but the completion of this study will require access to additional funding for the company. In the order that things happen we believe that the positive results from REVIVE 1 will ensure that REVIVE II is completed comfortably before the end of the year, simply because REVIVE I should trigger that interest from investors or industry.
Successful completion of both of these skin Phase III trials, that is REVIVE 1 and REVIVE II, could see Motif Bio submit the all-important new drug application to the FDA within, probably, the next 12-15 months. Depending on the amounts of funds that become available to the company, we could also see the initiation of a third Phase III trial of Iclaprim but in this case, it will be for the treatment of bacterial pneumonia, this is another quite high value indication for the drug, potentially.
Q3: How does Motif Bio’s valuation compare to its peers?
A3: So, Motif Bio PLC is valued at quite a discount to its closest peers and all of these are US-listed companies, as Motif is now, with new candidate antibiotics in Phase III development and these companies include Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:TTPH), Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PRTK), Cempra Inc (NASDAQ:CEMP) and lastly Achaogen Inc (NASDAQ:AKAO). Achaogen Inc reported its own positive Phase III results for its antibiotic, Plazomicin, which saw its share price more than double on a day of the announcement on December 12th so that company is now worth $650 million, if you compare that to Motif Bio’s market cap which is valued at $60 million, you can see the scale of the potential for a quick return on an investment. Motif is now ahead of those Phase III results and it will report from REVIVE 1 so quite an opportunity there.