Perth biotech turns out record revenue result

Perth based medical research pioneer Epichem, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX listed PharmAust, has posted record revenues for FY17 on the back of growth across all of its business divisions.

In a market update on Monday, PharmAust said Epichem generated a best-ever revenue result of $3.05m for the 12 months to June, up by 30 per cent when compared to the previous year.  

The company also flagged further top-line growth in the period ahead, with Epichem targeting $4m in revenue for FY18, according to management.

Epichem, who boasts a client base that spans 33 nations, provides hi-tech medical research based services in chemistry. The company has several global pharmaceutical players on its books and is led by a team of chemists, many of whom have PHDs.

Epichem’s team of medicinal chemists are assisting PharmAust’s oncology programmes and have made numerous novel analogues of "Monepantel", also known as MPL, Pharmaust's exciting new anti-cancer drug.

The drug, originally developed as a sheep-dip de-wormer, has shown very interesting results in human and animal anti-cancer trials and management is hopeful that its research could lead to a new cancer fighting drug wholly owned by PharmAust.

MPL trials have even returned positive outcomes for patients suffering from solid cancerous tumours that have failed to respond to conventional chemotherapy, raising hopes of a potentially game-changing breakthrough.

PharmAust, in Monday’s update, also said Epichem was upgrading its existing laboratory space and hood capacity by around 50 per cent in a development part-funded by a $466,000 loan from the Finance Insurance Commission.

Epichem Managing Director Dr Wayne Best added: “Our existing laboratories, which were expanded in 2015 are now running at full capacity. The new laboratories are needed to meet current and forecast demand.

“The time could not be better for further expansion. The lower Australian dollar and the ongoing improvements to our quality accreditation levels are expected to continue driving significant revenue growth for the company and shareholders.”

Another positive development at Epichem, PharmAust said, was the lodgement of applications for two pharmaceutical accreditation standards, ISO17025 and ISO17034. If successful, the accreditations are likely to drive significant growth in its high-margin catalogue business through FY18, according to management.

Monday’s announcement from PharmAust comes after the company last month revealed it had engaged Canadian pharmaceutical research specialist BRI to reformulate MPL in readiness for late stage clinical trials and commercialisation.

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