Updated: Aug 21, 2021
An exciting and innovative Australian biotech - Antisense Therapeutics Limited (ASX: ANP) and (FRA: AWY) has now listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Antisense Therapeutics is developing and commercializing antisense pharmaceuticals for large unmet markets in rare diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The products are in-licensed from Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), an established leader in antisense drug development. The Company is developing ATL1102. an antisense inhibitor of the CD49d receptor, for DMD patients and recently reported highly promising Phase II trial results. ATL1102 has also successfully completed a Phase II efficacy and safety trial, significantly reducing the number of brain lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The Company has a second drug, ATL1103 designed to block GHr production that successfully reduced blood IGF-I levels in Phase II clinical trials in patients with the growth disorder acromegaly.
The global market for DMD is around EUR 3.5 billion.
Antisense drugs are designed to bind to the mRNA of a target protein, inhibiting the protein production process. The approximately 30,000 genes in our human genome can be transcribed into about 85,000 different mRNA, each used in the cell as a template to synthesise a different protein.
mRNA biotechnology is receiving huge attention at the moment. BioNTech SE, utilises the mRNA technology for its Covid-19 vaccine. The mRNA technology, short for messenger RNA, is new to the vaccine scene. Conventional vaccines administer an inactivated virus, or proteins from that virus, into the body to trigger an immune response.
By comparison mRNA technology injects genetic instructions into the body that tell cells to make viral proteins that prime the immune system. Although mRNA vaccines had been under development for several years for viruses including influenza, cytomegalovirus, HIV, rabies and Zika, the arrival of Covid-19 turbocharged the process.
Antisense drugs are designed to bind to the mRNA of a target protein, inhibiting the protein production process. The completion of the sequencing and initial analysis of the human genome through the HGP provides a resource for the design of antisense drugs without requiring the complex and time consuming analysis of the structure of the target protein which is required for conventional (small molecule) drugs.
Recent peer valuations show this company is significantly undervalued, as per this article on Eli Lilly paying USD $100 million to Precision BioSciences for pre-clinical DMD research platform.
Here is also the latest investor presentation for Antisense Therapeutics Limited
And, just announced on 14 December 2020, The EU Commission has granted ATL1102 Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) based on positive opinion from European Medicines Agency (EMA). This follows the recent granting of both Orphan Drug Designation and Rare Pediatric Dosease Designation for ATL1102 in DMD by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ASX Release can be downloaded here.
A December independent research report has highlighted just how much Antisense Therapeutics is undervalued