Metavone seeks ASX listing

03/10/2016 - 10:52

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Perth-based biotechnology company Metavone hopes to list on the ASX next month after raising up to $5 million from investors in an initial public offering.

Metavone seeks ASX listing
Metavone managing director Stuart Gunzburg. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Perth-based biotechnology company Metavone hopes to list on the ASX next month after raising up to $5 million from investors in an initial public offering.

Metavone is developing therapeutic treatments for dementia and hormone-related cancers such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancers.

The company was formed out of the ashes of failed ASX-listed diagnostic technology company Heartlink Limited, which spun-out its assets into a separate entity when it was acquired by Jetset Travelworld in a reverse takeover in 2002.

The separate entity, later named ‘Heartlink 2’, was renamed to Metavone earlier this year.

Metavone has engaged KS Capital as lead manager for its IPO, and is hoping to raise a minimum of $3.5 million at 20 cents per share, with a maximum target of $5 million.

The company holds intellectual property rights to two patents for its isoflavone drug technology, which cover 138 isoflavone compounds.

While advancing its therapeutic treatments for dementia and hormone-related cancers, the first product Metavone plans to bring to the market is an over-the-counter dementia preventative supplement.

“We know the normal route of developing a treatment for Alzheimer’s, but we want to target a market where it actually prevents Alzheimer’s,” Metavone managing director Stuart Gunzburg told Business News.

“To do that, we want to develop an over-the-counter supplement that people can take on a daily or weekly basis. To do that, we need to screen our compounds.”

Mr Gunzburg said there were many of its compounds that were active against factors associated with the development of dementia, so the company wants to narrow them down to the most active six-to-12 compounds.

“That will take about two years. Once we find those compounds we’ll go through regulatory approval and do a phase one clinical trial,” he said.

“Once we reach that, we’ll then be looking at reaching a licensing agreement for producing an over-the-counter product.

“So within the next three years we hope to have a product that we can actually market to the public as a potential preventative for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Mr Gunzburg is a former health and biotech analyst with an extensive background in medical research.

He completed his phD and MBA at University of Western Australia.

Metavone has been showcasing its prospectus on the east coast, and has so far received commitments for about $750,000 of its IPO target.

The company also holds 4 million shares in ASX-listed health technology firm Medibio.

Metavone is chaired by former National Australia Bank executive Barry Samuels, who held a senior role at Heartlink prior to its acquisition by Jetset.

He maintained a board role at Jetset for several years.

Mr Samuels also the founder and former managing director of non-bank lender Financial Resources, and maintains his duties as managing director of Money Resources and chairman of Manganese Holding.

Metavone hopes to begin trading on the ASX by November 4.

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