Poolbeg Pharma IPO and funds raised provide strong platform to begin rapid growth plan

Open Orphan

Poolbeg Pharma (LON:POLB), a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company with a capital light clinical model, is pleased to announce that admission of its entire issued share capital to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange will become effective and dealings will commence at 8.00 a.m. today under the ticker “POLB” and with the ISIN GB00BKPG7Z60.

The full Admission Document is available to view on the Company’s website at www.poolbegpharma.com

IPO highlights

·      Shares priced at 10p per share equating to a market capitalisation at Admission of £50m

·     Oversubscribed fundraise which resulted in an increased raise from £20m to £25m despite some investor scale back

·      Funds raised to be used primarily:

o  to fund clinical trial costs associated with development of the Company’s POLB 001 asset as a treatment for severe Influenza and potentially other areas with label extensions

o  work on advancing other portfolio assets to monetisation

o  to acquire and develop other infectious disease assets

Company investment case

·    Attractive lead asset – POLB 001 – A first-in-class, Phase II ready small molecule immunomodulator for severe influenza, addressing a significant unmet need for effective treatments (c. $800m addressable market)

·     Wide asset portfolio – lead product has applications beyond Influenza plus PredictViral™ Biomarker platform for early prediction of severe disease (which has the potential to transform the way that infectious diseases are treated) and the Vaccine Discovery Platform harnessing data from the human challenge model

·     Valuable Data Access – licensed access to one of the largest infectious disease progression data and bio banks i.e. Open Orphan’s data and biobank, with the potential to interrogate the data with an AI data analysis platform (advanced discussions underway) to accelerate the identification of drug targets / products

·    Rapidly expanding market – focused on infectious diseases, particularly Influenza and other viral diseases. The market is expected to exceed $250bn by 2025

·    Capital light and scalable business model – enables the Company to develop assets to be Phase II-ready quickly with modest investment where they can be monetised / licenced to big pharmaceutical companies

·   Strong heritage – initial assets from Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a well-established, revenue generating business with more than 20 years of experience in infectious diseases and human challenge trials

·      Experienced team – management team has a track record of delivery and creating value for shareholders

Jeremy Skillington, PhD, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma said:

“The IPO and funds raised have provided a strong platform to begin our rapid growth plan. With experienced management on board and the exciting assets acquired from Open Orphan, we look forward to delivering value to our shareholder base and generating innovation in the previously overlooked infectious disease space which is now one of the fastest growing markets and is expected to exceed $250bn by 2025.

“Our capital light model versus conventional biotech has been well received by investors and the life sciences industry at large. We intend to drive business development through product in-licensing and acquisitions, which will provide continued momentum and value creation for our shareholders. At the core of our business, we are patient-focused and customer-led and plan to use our extensive network to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for big pharma, developing and partnering the infectious disease assets that they need.”

Cathal Friel, Chairman of Poolbeg Pharma commented:

“The listing of Poolbeg Pharma is a great opportunity to maximise the potential of some of Open Orphan’s key pharma assets and we have had excellent support from current and new shareholders.

“We have been deliberate in creating a company with a capital light model that can create excellent returns and value for its shareholders with substantially less risk than the traditional biotech model, which is why I was so excited to invest £500,000 personally in the IPO alongside incoming investors. We have assembled a leading management team with the tools and funding in place to deliver and are excited to now accelerate all our activities. At the heart of Poolbeg is the desire to improve infectious disease treatments for patients and provide valuable assets big pharma needs to improve patient care. It’s a win-win.”

Poolbeg Pharma is a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company, with a capital light clinical model which aims to develop multiple products faster and more cost effectively than the conventional biotech model. The Company, headquartered in London, is led by a team with a track record of creation and delivery of shareholder value and aspires to become a “one-stop shop” for Big Pharma seeking mid-stage products to licence or acquire.

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The Company is targeting the growing infectious disease market. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious disease has become one of the fastest growing pharma markets and is expected to exceed $250bn by 2025.

With its initial assets from Open Orphan plc, an industry leading infectious disease and human challenge trials business, Poolbeg has access to knowledge, experience, and clinical data from over 20 years of human challenge trials. The Company is using these insights to acquire new assets as well as reposition clinical stage products, reducing spend and risk. It already has a Phase II ready repositioned small molecule immunomodulator for severe influenza and a portfolio of other exciting assets. The Company plans to broaden this portfolio further going forward and is in active discussions with AI data analysis platforms to help accelerate the power of its human challenge model data and biobank.

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