Novapep, together with its shareholder – University of Sydney, is developing cost-effective treatments for inflammatory skin disorders and irritable bowel syndrome

Novapep was founded by Prof John Griffin of The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego and Jay Hennock, founder and CEO of Bioatrix, Sydney to develop new peptide structures, which are anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective and analgesic for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis/inflammatory skin disorders (‘ISD’) and inflammatory bowel disease/irritable bowel syndrome (‘IBD’). Prof Richard Payne, University of Sydney, has recently become Novapep’s Chief Scientific Officer.

Novapep has been approached by two global pharmaceutical companies wishing to explore partnering/out-licensing.  Before entering negotiations, the Company is seeking $500,000 to secure additional patents and animal study data.

John Griffin, Jay Hennock and Rich Payne, Founders, Novapep

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Problem

The standard topical treatment of care for atopic dermatitis and plaque psoriasis is cortico steroids.  Side effects that include easy bruising, changes in pigmentation and thinning skin, in particular, preclude prolonged use.  Global drug sales in these markets are estimated to be $12 billion in 2020.

There is only one oral peptide treatment for IBD being linaclotide and its mechanisms of action are on gut epithelial cells. Novapep’s novel peptide structures activate key receptors in both epithelial cells and sensory neurons.  Global drug sales in these markets are estimated to be $42 billion in 2019.

Solution

Activated Protein C (‘APC’) is a human protein which is anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective and it has been shown to be effective in ISD and IBD in numerous animal models.  However, APC is very expensive to manufacture and it (3K3A-APC) is only being developed in stroke (Phase 3 pivotal trial) and motor neuron disease (Phase 2 trial) by ZZ Biotech LLC – www.zzbiotech.com.

Prof Griffin has develop peptide structures which are mimetics of APC in that they initiate anti-inflammatory and cell protective signalling.  Novapep has demonstrated in animal models of atopic dermatitis that TR47 (its initial peptide structure) is as effective as cortico steroids, but with none of the side effects.

Competitve Edge

  • Novapep’s peptides are far cheaper to manufacture than proteins (~200 X), are more stable and better suited for oral (IBD) and topical (ISD) delivery.
  • The Company has licensed John Griffin’s TR47 patent from the Scripps and has filed a use patent for TR47 in ISD.
  • Novapep is securing additional IP and patents on its new structures.
  • The new structures have multiple mechanisms of action on target cell types.
  • Novapep researchers have brought FDA approved drugs to market.

Team Experience

  • Jay Hennock (Novapep CEO) sold Bioatrix to ZZ Biotech LLC and is a Director of that Company.
  • Prof John Griffin (Chairman of Novapep Scientific Advisory Board) is a co-founder ZZ Biotech and invented 3K3A-APC.
  • Prof Rich Payne (Novapep CSO), University of Sydney, is a world expert in peptide development.
  • Prof Stuart Brierly, Flinders University, did the translational work on linaclotide and is world expert in IBD. In 2019, Stuart demonstrated a relationship between ISD and IBD called ‘Gut Itch’.
  • Evan Siegel, PhD is Novapep’s Regulatory Consultant and was formerly Principal Regulatory Scientist at IQVIA and Toxicology Reviewer at the US FDA.
  • The University of Sydney is a Novapep shareholder.

Raise

Novapep is seeking to raise a minimum of $500,000 on a pre-money valuation of $4.5 million.

Ambitions

With the appropriate partner/s and partnering agreements, Novapep can:

  • Achieve a rapid drug development path through to Phase 1 clinical trials in each program, which will result in significant value inflection points.
  • Consider an outright sale of the Company or programs.
  • Out-license the ISD and IBD programs to big pharma will result up-front payments, milestones payments and royalties
  • Consider an IPO on the ASX

Highlights

  • Large target markets with unmet medical needs.
  • Strong science with good foundation animal data.
  • Best relevant research labs in Australia and the US, with big pharma input.
  • World class scientists and Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Comprehensive patent coverage.
  • Four shots on therapeutics targets – atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, IBS and IBD.
  • Experienced management team who have achieved prior exits.
  • Low immediate development costs and short time frame to a liquidity event.

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