Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
– The innovations which have taken place in medical and life science technologies during my career are inspiring and it is an honor to be part of this exciting field. We are all impacted by illness in some way when our family members, friends or we ourselves suddenly have to deal with illness and it is motivating be part of a company and industry which tries to understand disease and treat it. As a scientist entrepreneur I have been CEO and founder of 2 early stage biotech startups prior to taking the helm at Cyxone and have also served as Director of Business Development for a number of small biotech companies where I focused on company building and deal making.
My background is as a scientist: I trained as a scientist in Canada, where I am originally from, earning a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Subsequently I completed a post doctoral fellowship at University of California San Francisco working on therapeutic antibody drug discovery and development. I earned an MBA at Danish Technical University in Lyngby after which I founded my own consultancy firm supporting biotech companies in strategic and corporate management.
I have worked as a scientist both in a large pharmaceutical setting as well as in small biotech start-ups spun out of some of the top universities in the world including MIT and Harvard. In my career I have worked mainly in drug discovery and evolved toward non-clinical and clinical drug development. My experience spans modalities and indications including autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, cancer and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. I have worked on the discovery and development of small molecules, antibodies, peptides and cell therapies.
Fundamental science and the passion of scientist inventors that we work closely with drive us forward as well as patients who reach out to us for help. These drivers are key including the team of colleagues and experts to propel our innovations forward from concept to product.
Please give our readers an introduction to Cyxone.
– Cyxone is a Swedish clinical stage biotech company with a pipeline of assets focused on therapies for disorders of the immune system with a special focus on autoimmune diseases. Currently our lead asset and indication is Rabeximod in development for rheumatoid arthritis followed by T20K in development for multiple sclerosis. Both are first in class drug candidates with novel modes of action which aim to deliver therapeutic benefit to patients underserved by current therapies and avoiding deleterious side effects which limit current therapies.
Cyxone is an emerging biotech company which has increased in size 4 fold within my tenure and which continues to grow organically with experts specialized in our core therapeutic areas, with subject area knowledge and with a passion for driving innovation for our patients and healthcare systems.
Could you elaborate on Cyxone's business model?
– Cyxone’s business model is to in license promising early stage assets at or near the IND submission stage with high commercial potential through addressing large market indications with niche unmet needs. We aim to developed to proof of concept stage (Phase 2b) and then out-license to a suitable strategic partner for late stage development and commercialization. The reason for this business model is the high cost and complexity of late stage development, market authorization and commercialization which can be out of scope for a small company and require a partner to execute successfully. There is also a large value step up after a successful phase 2b trial that a company like Cyxone can leverage for commercialization via out licensing.
Cyxone is currently raising 66,9 MSEK. How are you going to use this capital?
– The funding will be applied mainly to intensifying activities for the Rabeximod in rheumatoid arthritis throughout this year, and part of next year.
Walk us through the upcoming events of importance in 2022.
– We have many events to look forward to in 2022 including regulatory approvals for initiation of our RA trial and first patients enrolled. For our exciting program in multiple sclerosis non-clinical operations will also be initiated. As we move our clinical programs forward, we continue to run preclinical programs to further elucidate the way our drugs work in the body and to explore more diseases where they bring significant benefit. These explorations will deliver exciting news that will support the expansion of our pipeline and increase partnership potential.
We also have the planned IND and uplisting to the main market to look forward to this year.
What is the size of Cyxone's potential market for rheumatoid arthritis?
– Taking a very conservative view, let us assume that we are targeting methotrexate non responders primarily, and attaining 20% market penetration. If we consider only the EU and USA markets and assume pricing is similar to JAK inhibitors, we can assume a market of over 1 B USD. We will however explore Rabeximod in both other RA patient subsets and in additional indications so there is a good possibility of an even larger market.
Why is there a need for more treatments within RA?
– In RA there are many drugs such as methotrexate available as first line therapy and biologicals and JAK inhibitors as second and third line therapy and these help some patients sufficiently. However, there are many patients who do not respond to these treatments, who respond inadequately, or whose response to the treatments declines over time. In addition, some patients cannot tolerate the treatments and develop unacceptable side effects. So there is still a huge unmet need in the RA therapeutic area.
Firstly, Rabeximod is a drug that works in the body very differently from current therapies (i.e., it has a novel mechanism of action). So, we aim to develop an innovative form of treatment that can address patients underserved by current therapies, especially those who do not respond early on to treatment with methotrexate. Secondly, Rabeximod is taken as a pill by swallowing so it is easier to administer than biologicals. Finally, Rabeximod has been shown to have a favorable safety and tolerability profile in earlier clinical trials. So we expect to provide a therapy which has better tolerability (due to the more favourable safety profile).
According to you, what makes Cyxone an interesting company for investors?
– As an emerging biotech, Cyxone has undergone significant changes in the last year which position it to deliver on its potential. Our assets have strong potential for a large market share in RA and MS, but because of the novel modes of action of Rabeximod and T20K, central to many autoimmune diseases, and the long patent lifetime, Cyxone is planning to develop these assets for additional indications meaning greater potential value to our shareholders. The investment in our expanding team will also ensure that we can run our drug development programs expertly and efficiently for the best results.
Finally, what is your long-term vision for Cyxone? Where do you see the company 5 years from now?
– My 5 year vision is for Cyxone to become a company with a product on the market for rheumatoid arthritis and 2-3 strategic partnerships in place. We will have 2-3 programs in clinical development and we will have expanded our pipeline to include additional indications for Rabeximod and T20K. In addition, we will have in-licensed additional high potential assets. My intention is to grow the team and build a company with the core infrastructure and capabilities required to develop a strong pipeline of programs focused on delivering innovative, safe and life changing therapies for autoimmune diseases, neuroinflammatory diseases and other disorders of the immune system. We also intend to remain primarily a Swedish company, working with Swedish companies and hiring Swedish employees, but with an international outlook and openness for international partners and partnerships and international employees..
Erbjudandet i sammandrag
Teckningsperiod: 3 januari – 21 januari 2022.
Teckningskurs: 1,75 SEK per aktie.
Handel med teckningsrätter: 3 januari – 18 januari 2022.
Handel i BTA: Handel med betalda tecknade aktier kommer att äga rum på Nasdaq First North Growth Market under perioden från och med den 3 januari 2022 till och med att företrädesemissionen registreras hos Bolagsverket, vilket förväntas ske under vecka 5, 2022.
Emissionsbelopp: Cirka 66,9 miljoner SEK.
Offentliggörande av utfall i företrädesemissionen: Omkring den 25 januari 2022.