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Kazia Therapeutics halts trade in securities ahead of capital raising news

The cancer therapeutics developer expects its shares will swap hands again by Monday.

Kazia Therapeutics Ltd - Kazia Therapeutics halts trade in securities ahead of capital raising and clinical results
Trade in the company's securities is likely to start up again on Monday

Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:KZA) (FRA:NV9) (NASDAQ:KZIA) has called a voluntary trading halt in its securities as it prepares to share details of a proposed capital raising.

This halt will remain in place until the start of normal ASX trading on Monday, October 28, 2019, or when an announcement is released to the market, whichever occurs earliest.

The clinical-stage Australian biotechnology company is also expecting to share results from a phase II study of its GDC-0084 brain cancer therapeutic in the next five weeks. 

Kazia is developing the asset for use in malignant glioblastomas such as grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive cancer with an often poor prognosis. 

The targeted therapy GDC-0084 has been shown to reduce tumour size as it modulates the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signalling pathway. 

Roche Holding Ltd Genussscheine (SWX:ROG) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) (EPA:RBO) (ETR:RHO) subsidiary Genentech, Inc (NYSE:DNA) previously showed GDC-0084 had an acceptable tolerability in a patient group of people with advanced brain tumours, the majority with GBM. 

Ovarian cancer asset attracts attention

Sydney-based Kazia also has the ovarian cancer asset Cantrixil under study.

Kazia chief executive officer & executive director Dr James Garner had noted clinical achievements from the company last month during the Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Barcelona.

He flagged the company was holding a number of discussions on Cantrixil as it shared positive results from a phase I study of the therapeutic at the Spanish event which followed the company’s presentations at the 14th annual meeting of the European Association of Neuro Oncology (EANO) in France.

Dr Garner, a physician, said “Put simply, the drug (Cantrix) is active.

“The expansion cohort, which is currently in progress, will help us to further quantify and substantiate that activity.

“In parallel, we continue to discuss the program with clinicians, potential partners, and investors, as we consider how best to take Cantrixil forward after completion of the phase I study.”

First-in-class development candidate Cantrixil (TRX-E-002-1) targets the full spectrum of cancer cells, including tumour-initiating cells which may cause cancer recurrence.

A study of the intra-peritoneal (IP)-delivered chemotherapy candidate in patients is underway in the US and Australia.

Cantrixil has potential as a treatment for late-stage disease — stages III and IV — which have poor survival ratings.

Ovarian cancer is a lucrative drug market for cancer therapeutics companies, with the US$500 million industry tipped to grow to US$1 billion in a five-year period.

Fiscal results reveal frugal approach

This year, the Australian and New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) Trans-Tasman Innovation & Growth Awards winner received a $2.2 million R&D tax rebate from the Australian Government a few weeks into the March 2019 financial quarter.

The young pharma reported its fiscal year results to market in late August 2019 after ending the June 2019 quarter with $5.4 million cash.

Kazia raised $6.2 million in the financial year from investors and with share sales and ended June with $5.6 million it indicated could be directed to fiscal year 2020 programs.

The junior biotech noted it had reduced costs by 41% over a 2-year period as it focused on “preserving shareholders’ funds for investment into progressing clinical programs.”

Kazia hopes to make a difference with its pipeline of drugs for life-taking cancers, as it aims help and support clinicians hoping to save and extend patient lives.

Quick facts: Kazia Therapeutics Ltd

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ASX:KZA
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $127.74 m
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