May 27, 2021 (Q1 2021)
Oasmia achieved several key goals in the first quarter, making further important progress in implementing the strategic transformation initiated when I joined last year.
A critical goal for Oasmia is to significantly expand our pipeline of development-stage oncology assets through M&A and in-licensing opportunities that we believe will fit with our strategic goals. This ambitious ’string of pearls strategy’ will capitalize on our proven oncology development and regulatory skills and expertise. We have a solid cash position to execute on the current strategy as laid out, with the possibility to reevaluate the financing need when these opportunities occur and with the progress of our development projects.
The acquisition of global development and commercialization rights for Cantrixil from Kazia Therapeutics in March was an exciting development for Oasmia and represented the first stage in this pipeline expansion – the first “pearl” added to our portfolio. The acquisition brings to us a promising clinical program in late-stage ovarian cancer, an area we know exceedingly well. In April, we presented final Phase I results for Cantrixil at the prestigious American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) 2021 Annual Meeting. These highly promising results underscore our optimism about this program. Cantrixil is believed to target a wide spectrum of cancer cells, including chemotherapy-resistant tumor-initiating cells that are thought to be responsible for disease relapse. In addition to its promise as stand-alone therapy, Cantrixil has the potential to complement Oasmia’s lead product for ovarian cancer, Apealea®, through treatment protocols to be developed.
Since acquiring the rights to Cantrixil, we have been working to establish an advisory board of experts to provide input on the clinical development plan and have initiated discussions with regulators at the EMA and FDA. We have also made progress towards securing drug supply for forthcoming clinical trials.
Apealea® (paclitaxel micellar), a non-Cremophor based formulation of paclitaxel, is Oasmia’s most advanced development program, approved in Europe and in development elsewhere for advanced ovarian cancer. Since it was out licensed to Elevar Therapeutics last year, we’ve been working closely with Elevar and its partners to support development and commercialization activities. Post period , in April, Elevar received notification from the FDA authorizing a pharmaco-kinetic study in the US. In parallel, preparations are being made for an additional clinical study. Both studies are intended to support an NDA application in the US.
We’re also pleased to report that Docetaxel micellar, a solvent-free formulation of docetaxel to avoid the need for solubility enhancers and mandatory high-dose steroid premedication, has been granted ethical committee approval in Switzerland, paving the way for the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) to initiate a Phase Ib trial in advanced prostate cancer.
Our technology platforms remain an important part of our business and complement our development and regulatory expertise. During the period we signed a collaboration agreement with the world renowned Karolinska Institutet here in Stockholm. The goal is to generate additional data to help us gain a deeper understanding of the potential of our proprietary XR-17 platform technology, with a focus on niche cancer indications. Over the longer term this will help us generate new pipeline candidates.
A vital part of our transformation is building a leadership team with the experience to drive our future growth. I’m pleased to say that with Fredrik Järrsten joining as CFO, and Heidi B. Ramstad and Reinhard Koenig’s appointments as CMO and CSO, we have completed our leadership team. This greatly strengthens our ability to execute our strategy and thrive as a business in the future.
Business transformations take time to achieve, but in 12 months we have put in place the right leadership team supported by a stronger Board with new expertise to take us to the next level of success. We have clearly defined and started executing on our strategy to become a leading cancer biopharma company with an emerging oncology pipeline. Thank you for your continued support during this period as we transition to an exciting future.
Dr. Francois Martelet, M.D., CEO of Oasmia