Pos­i­tive re­sults for Bio­nomics

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

SHARES in Bio­nomics Ltd surged more than 18 per cent af­ter the biotech re­ported suc­cess­ful re­sults from early tri­als of its anti-anx­i­ety drug BNC210.

Bio­nomics said yes­ter­day that two Phase 1b tri­als of the drug con­ducted in France showed that BNC210 re­duced the num­ber and sever­ity of panic at­tacks in pa­tients and showed for the first time BNC210-re­lated changes to hu­man brain ac­tiv­ity.

Bio­nomics chief ex­ec­u­tive Deb­o­rah Rath­jen said the next step for the com­pany was to se­cure a big phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany to fur­ther de­velop BNC210 un­der li­cence.

The trial re­sults would pro­vide ‘‘ more am­mu­ni­tion’’.

Shares in Bio­nomics rose 8c, or 18.6 per cent, to 51c.

‘‘ The re­sults ( of the tri­als) have ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions,’’ Dr Rath­jen said. ‘‘ Both stud­ies were de­signed to demon­strate the value of BNC210 as an in­no­va­tive new-gen­er­a­tion treat­ment for anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion, and the re­sults con­firm the drug’s po­ten­tial.’’

Bio­nomics said cur­rent ‘‘ block­buster’’ drugs for the treat­ment of anx­i­ety, which in­clude Val­ium, Prozac and Ef­fexor, were not ideal.

‘‘ BNC210 rep­re­sents a nextgen­er­a­tion t reat­ment f or anx­i­ety, which stands out as free of the se­ri­ous side­ef­fects,’’ Dr Rath­jen said.

BNC210 pro­ject leader Dr Sue O’Con­nor said data from t h e t r i a l s s h o w e d t h a t BNC210 l acked t he side­ef­fects of se­da­tion, mem­ory im­pair­ment and re­duc­tion of co-or­di­na­tion shown by some other drugs. Bio­nomics ex­pects to present data from the tri­als at ma­jor in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tific con­fer­ences later this year.

Anti-anx­i­ety drugs have an es­ti­mated world­wide mar­ket of up to $ US12 bil­lion ($ 11.68 bil­lion) per year.

Dr Rath­jen said Bio­nomics was ex­pect­ing re­sults from re­nal cancer and mesothe­lioma clin­i­cal tri­als of its BNC105 drug later this year.

Dr Rath­jen said the next 48 hours should prove in­ter­est­ing in re­la­tion to in­vestor in­ter­est in Bio­nomics.

On Novem­ber 10, Start-up A u s t r a l i a V e n t u r e s a n - nounced that it was seek­ing ten­ders for the ac­qui­si­tion of its en­tire 27.76 per cent stake in Bio­nomics. The ten­der process is sched­uled to close on March 31.

A s u c c e s s f u l t e n d e r e r would be re­quired to make a takeover bid for all of the shares in Bio­nomics.

‘‘ The last 48 hours had been pretty dra­matic in terms of hav­ing this BNC210 story to­gether – get­ting the data o v e r t h e wee k e n d f r o m Europe and so forth,’’ Dr Rath­jen said.

‘‘ The next 48 hours is go­ing to be pretty in­ter­est­ing in terms of the ten­der of­fer.

‘‘ Our largest share­holder, Start-up Aus­tralia Ven­tures, cur­rently has close to 28 per cent of the com­pany up for sale. And any­one who buys over 19.9 per cent of the com­pany is re­quired to make a takeover bid.

‘‘ Of course, the other share­hold­ers may or may not ac­cept that; the board may or may not rec­om­mend that.’’

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