Destiny floats on AIM to pursue antibiotic resistance challenge
Destiny Pharma received a warm welcome when it became the second biotech to float in the UK this year, joining London's AIM junior market on Monday after raising £15.3m to develop its products aimed to tackle anti-microbial resistance.
Destiny, which saw its shares climb 26% by lunchtime on Monday to 197p from the initial public offer price of 157p, is focused on the development of novel anti-microbial drugs with a lead candidate poised to enter Phase IIb clinical trials.
With rising global concern over the dangers of life-threatening infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria -- such that it was the priority topic at the recent G20 summit in Germany -- the company is developing a drug platform with novel way of tackling the problem.
Destiny's XF-drug platform have been shown to rapidly kill bacteria by interfering with the properties of the surface of bacteria, resulting in the loss of vital components from the cell, and have been shown to kill bacteria in all growth states, including non-growing cultures which are resistant to a large number of antibiotics.
Unlike most antibiotics, XF drugs have demonstrated the ability to kill Staphylococcal bacteria -- such as that cause MRSA, food poisoning, cellulitis and toxic shock syndrome -- within biofilms.
The funds raised from the IPO, which was led by nominated adviser and broker Cantor Fitzgerald, will primarily be used to progress the lead drug candidate, XF-73, through a Phase IIb clinical trial in the prevention of post-surgical Staphylococcus aureus infections (including MRSA) over the next two years in the US, where it could potentially be fast-tracked to regulatory approval.
XF-73 has progressed through five Phase I/IIa clinical trials that have shown its rapid antibacterial action combined with evidence of a no/low resistance profile.
The Brighton-based outfit, which has market exclusivity including robust IP protection that potentially extends into 2030, has also agreed a framework agreement with China Medical Systems to develop and commercialise the company’s assets in China and certain other Asian countries, excluding Japan.
Chief executive Neil Clark, who is known to AIM investors as former boss of CeNeS Pharmaceuticals and is being guided at Destiny by Sir Nigel Rudd as chairman, said the funds are designed to see the lead drug candidate through the trials over the next two years. "If successful, XF-73 will then be ready for Phase III clinical development which will be a major value inflection point.
"XF-73 could be the first drug to be specifically labelled for a new US FDA sanctioned indication, namely the prevention of post-surgical infections; a market we believe to be worth a billion dollars in the US alone and growing.