Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) expects the commercial traction seen in the first half to continue into the second six months of the financial year as it gears up for the imminent US launch of its cancer diagnostic.
Partner Biodesix will unveil EarlyCDT Lung to the American medical audience next month as part of a five-year agreement worth US$28mln.
In its interim results statement, Oncimmune also revealed it had signed a service contract with a large, unnamed pharmaceutical group and is in late-stage talks over “multiple” similar deals.
The company is a specialist in the field of immunodiagnostics. Specifically, its technology detects evidence of the body's natural response to cancer, enabling detection four years or more before standard clinical diagnosis.
Its lead product, EarlyCDT Lung, was used successfully in the largest-ever trial for the early detection of lung cancer using biomarkers. So, the technology has been well tested.
In the update, the firm said it was in discussions with several potential commercial partners within NHS England that will use EarlyCDT Lung for cancer screening.
Looking ahead, Oncimmune said there had been “increased activity” from its global distributor network with sales expected from Spain, Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore.
Approval for both EarlyCDT Lung and EarlyCDT Liver in China “remains on track”, the firm said, with first sales expected in the first quarter of next year.
“We look forward to the commercial rollout of EarlyCDT Lung in several markets, including the US, in 2020 to further expand the reach of our technology to patients,” said chief executive, Dr Adam Hill.
“With multiple late stage negotiations underway and a strong conviction in the vital importance of our technology, we have growing confidence in the business to further change patients' lives and deliver growth."
As would be expected of a company in the formative stages of commercial development, Oncimmune was loss-making. The comprehensive loss for the six months to November 30 was just under £5.8mln. Revenues of £310,000 were almost three times those of a year ago. As at the period-end, the firm had just over £7.5mln in cash.
In a note to clients, analysts at ‘house’ broker finnCap said: “Oncimmune continues to make progress towards a real-world lung cancer screening test with active discussions ongoing now with NHS England partners.
“The launch of the EarlyCDT Lung test in March in the US, together with the expected publication of supportive health economic data, regulatory clearance in Russia and filing in China by its partners in H1 CY 2020, should build momentum in what is clearly an unmet market need.”
The analysts added: “We are leaving our forecasts unchanged, with 31 May 2020 cash of £4.6mln, and reiterate our risk-adjusted DCF target price of 150p.”
In afternoon trade on Wednesday, Oncimmune shares were changing hands at 31.50p each, down 1.6% on Tuesday’s close.
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