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hVIVO keen to expand challenge trials presence into new indications

The challenge trial charts the entire disease life cycle from healthy to sick and back to health.
Challenge trials can speed up vaccine development
BigPicture
Challenge trials can speed up vaccine development

 

  • hVIVO PLC (LON:HVO) has developed a human-based clinical trial platform to accelerate drug and vaccine development in respiratory and infectious diseases

  • Company is also developing a flu vaccine, FLU-v, through a joint venture with SEEK Group

  • Gearing up to take Flu-v into phase III trial

  • Cash of £13mln at last year end compared to market value of £20mln at 21.5p

 

What it does

Using challenge trials, hVIVO helps drug companies researches influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human rhinovirus (HRV) and respiratory indications.

The trial chart the entire disease life cycle from healthy to sick and back to health.

The company is expanding its expertise into airways diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and coughs.

 

Flu vaccine

HVIVO is also developing a flu vaccine, FLU-v, through a joint venture with SEEK Group.

A phase II trial met its primary endpoint of statistical significance in symptom reduction.

The JV is looking for a partner ito help fund the cost of what will be a sizeable phase III trial.

Currently, flu vaccines have to be redesigned every year as the flu virus evolves rapidly.

One of the major plus-points for FLU-v is that it offers long-lasting protection against a broad spectrum of influenza which hVIVO believes could be given to a much broader population.

 

How is it doing

In 2018, the loss before tax widened to £18.9mln (2017: £14.8mln), although once various one-off costs were excluded, adjusted pre-tax losses reduced by more than a quarter to £9.6mln (2017: £13.2mln).

In line with the new strategy, R&D costs fell 21% to £4.8mln (2017: £6.1mln).

At the end of the period, hVIVO had £13.4mln of cash in the bank (2017: £20.3mln).

“There have been multiple challenges to overcome with regard to our business operations during this transition,” said executive chairman Trevor Phillips.

 

What the boss says, Trevor Phillips, executive chairman

“While the changes instituted across the business in 2018 and into 2019 will result in some cost savings being recognised in both years, the effect will be fully realised from 2020.”

Phillips added that the company’s contracted backlog for 2019 is “showing a substantial increase on 2018” and is set to improve even further in 2020, the year in which he is targeting profitability.

 

Video

 

Inflexion points

  • Partner for Flu-v vaccine to help fund phase IlI trial
  • Expansion of challenge trials in to new areas such as COPD and asthma
  • New contracts for challenge trials
  • Move towards profitability
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