Clinical stage biotechnology company PharmAust (ASX: PAA) has received a $708,000 research and development (R&D) tax refund for work undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiaries Epichem and Pitney Pharmaceuticals.
The Australian Tax Office and AusIndustry jointly administer the federal government’s R&D Tax Incentive scheme, which allows eligible companies to receive up to a 43.5% refundable tax offset for expenses incurred on R&D activities.
“We appreciate the continued support and acknowledgement by the Australian Government for the critical work undertaken in our R&D programs,” PharmAust finance director Sam Wright said.
“The receipt of the R&D refund strengthens PharmAust’s financial position to executive on our upcoming clinical trials,” he added.
Upcoming monepantel clinical trial
PharmAust is gearing up for a phase 1 clinical trial of its lead drug monepantel (MPL) in motor neurone disease (MND).
Earlier this month, PharmAust revealed FightMND had made its first instalment of $201,615 of a $881,085 funding commitment for the research.
FightMND is the largest independent fund of MND research in Australia and will pay its second instalment of $99,230 once PharmAust has completed its one-month GMP accelerated stability study of its newly manufactured MPL tables.
The third instalment of $173,034 will be paid once the trial has begun, which is planned for next month.
To oversee and support the phase 1 trial, PharmAust has appointed Alithia.
The aim of the study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of MPL in MND sufferers. It also hopes to identify any signs MPL can slow down disease progression.
Data from this trial will be combined with animal studies to determine whether a phase 2 clinical study will go ahead.
PharmAust has designed MPL as an inhibitor of the mTOR pathway, which has key influences in cancer growth and neurodegenerative diseases.
MPL has shown anti-cancer activity in phase 1 clinical trials in humans and canines.