PharmAust raises $10m to progress MPL neurodegenerative disease treatment

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By Colin Hay - 
PharmAust ASX PAA capital raising STRIKE study

Clinical-stage biotechnology company PharmAust (ASX: PAA) has received strong market support for plans to progress its monepantel (MPL) neurodegenerative disease candidate.

The company has received binding commitments to raise $10 million via an institutional placement at $0.19 per share.

The placement was again strongly supported by the company’s directors and management, who participated for approximately $1m.

PharmAust also revealed it will be seeking to raise a further $2m via a share purchase plan that is being offered to eligible shareholders.

‘Vote of confidence’

Managing director Dr Michael Thurn said the new funds will be used to finalise preparations for a critical adaptive Phase 2/3 STRIKE study in patients with motor neurone disease (MND)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The new cash input will also support good manufacturing practice activities, development of preclinical models for other neurodegenerative diseases, regulatory filings, working capital and offer costs.

“We are delighted with the support of our capital raising from our existing shareholders and welcome new shareholders to our register,” Dr Thurn said.

“It serves as a vote of confidence in the exciting opportunity ahead for us with MPL, along with the quality of our people and our strategy.”

MPL study success

Earlier this month, the company revealed that a new study had found treatment with MPL can reduce the risk of death by 91% when compared to benchmarked controls.

The study, undertaken by specialists Berry Consultants, concluded that the survival patterns between MPL treatment and the pooled resource open-access ALS clinical trials (PRO-ACT) control groups differ significantly for each dataset tested, even using the most conservative analysis dataset.

Strong OLE trial enrolment

PharmAust also recently revealed it had completed recruitment for an open-label extension (OLE) study.

Ten of the 12 patients who completed the Phase 1 MEND study have successfully enrolled for the next phase.

The study will dose eligible patients with 10 milligrams of MPL per kilogram body weight daily for an additional 12 months to investigate its long-term safety, tolerability and efficacy against MND/ALS.