11/06/2021 - 12:00

Perth biotech has strong start to trading

11/06/2021 - 12:00

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A Perron Institute spinout focused on reducing brain damage caused by strokes listed on the ASX this morning, with its share price rising 50 per cent.

Perth biotech has strong start to trading
Liz Dallimore was a director of Curtin University's WA Data Science Innovation Hub before joining Argenica.

A Perron Institute spinout focused on reducing brain damage caused by strokes listed on the ASX this morning, with its share price rising 50 per cent.

Based in Nedlands, Argenica Therapeutics is developing its lead neuroprotective peptide drug, ARG-007, to be administered by first responders to stroke patients.

Argenica said the ARG-007 treatment had been successfully demonstrated to improve outcomes in pre-clinical stroke models and was in the process of being verified for its safety and toxicity.

The treatment was developed by Bruno Meloni at the University of Western Australia and Neville Knuckey at the Perron Institute.

Led by chief executive Liz Dallimore, Argenica believes ARG-007 also has the potential to enhance patient recovery.

The business claims there are currently no marketed treatments capable of protecting the brain from damage after a stroke.

Argenica listed on the ASX on Friday with a market capitalisation of $14.6 million, after having raised $7 million from an initial public offering.

The IPO was priced at 20 cents and led by Alto Capital.

Argenica’s share price rose to a high of 30 cents on Friday before lowering to 27 cents, as at 12:20pm AEST.

The company said it would direct the IPO funds towards the first phase of in-human clinical trials, expected later in the year.

Argenica is also planning to expand on its existing and future development collaborations, build a regulatory approval framework, and explore additional applications of the ARG-007 technology in other neurological conditions.

Dr Dallimore welcomed the company’s new shareholders, which include UWA and Perron, with 5.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent shareholdings, respectively.

Argenica said it would use some of the IPO proceeds to support ongoing research and development activities in partnership with UWA and the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science.

“Today marks the biggest milestone in Argenica’s history as we now have a robust capital base to execute the first in-human clinical trial of our lead neuroprotective peptide ARG-007,” Dr Dallimore said on Friday.

“Protecting vulnerable brain tissue from dying after a stroke isn’t just a highly compelling commercial opportunity, it is also a chance to truly improve the lives of millions of people who suffer from stroke globally each year.

“We are excited to move this project forward with support from our tier one research partners and a well credentialled team and board who have a proven track record of success with early-stage biotechnology companies.”

The Argenica board also includes non-executive chair Geoff Pocock, a director of both West Perth-registered medtech Osteopore and NSW medical imaging company EMvision Medical Devices, and director Samantha South, a senior commercialisation officer (life sciences) at UWA and director of Monash University spinout RAGE Biotech.

Ms Dallimore was a director of Curtin University's WA Data Science Innovation Hub before joining Argenica.

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