09 December 2021 | Thursday | News
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Servatus Ltd, an unlisted Australian biopharmaceutical company and global expert in the identification and development of novel autoimmune therapies using live microbial biotherapeutics and engineered proteins, is pleased to announce it has secured $7.5 million in an oversubscribed capital raise, with strong support from sophisticated shareholders.
Servatus' business contains three integrated divisions: drug development, at the forefront of microbiome based biotherapeutics; state-of-the-art manufacturing via a joint-venture; and an over-the-counter live microbial biotherapeutics business, called Biomiq.
The majority of funds raised to date will be directed toward clinical trials for insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis (IBD-UC). Servatus is currently awaiting final ethics approval for rheumatoid arthritis and IBD-UC before undertaking patient recruitment for these trials, which are expected to begin in Queensland and the United States in early 2022.
The rheumatoid arthritis market is one of the largest drug markets globally, recording ~USD43bn, of sales in 2018, while the insomnia market is also relatively large, expected to reach around ~USD7.5 bn in 2026 at a CAGR of 5.2%. In earlier, pre-clinical studies, Servatus' drug candidates were shown to either significantly improve the performance of some of the world's leading autoimmune drugs or to outperform drugs used in the current standard of care.
Commenting on the success of the capital raise, Servatus' CEO Dr Wayne Finlayson, said: "We are delighted to have secured $7.5 million in new capital to advance these important clinical trial programs. While there are drugs on market for insomnia and rheumatoid arthritis, a meaningful percentage of patients remain very much underserved by, or unable to tolerate, existing therapies. We had exceptional responses to our earlier work and are looking forward to moving into the clinic early next year."
Servatus has built a world class research and production facility under a joint venture named Australian Biotherapeutics (ABT). The facility employs a global-first bio-manufacturing process which pairs proprietary, closed-system single use continuous production with Australian-first drying technology to improve both manufacturing yields and production costs.
Stage one construction of the facility has already been completed. The joint venture will produce biopharmaceutical products for the export market, providing a valuable revenue stream for the Servatus group. Stage two, a significantly larger production suite enabling large scale GMP biopharmaceutical production is planned to commence in 2023.
Servatus' CEO Dr Wayne Finlayson, said: "It has been very satisfying to see the benefits of our integrated business platform this year. Our rapidly advancing clinical trial program has been supported by our state-of-the-art R&D and production facility. While other drug developers may have been impacted by short-supply in manufacturing, having a purpose-built facility has enabled us to fast-track our clinical trial program. We are very proud to be able to take our Australian technology to the world and are entering into an exciting phase for the company."