Morvus has three product lines, two of which are core products and potential blockbusters. The third is smaller, but important for future cash flow.
Cardiff Protides, a 100% owned subsidiary of Morvus, has out-licensed its Protide technology to Edinburgh based Nucana Plc, a company publicly quoted on NASDAQ (NCNA – http://www.nucana.com.) This protide technology overcomes key cancer resistance mechanisms that severely limit the action and effectiveness of many approved anti-cancer drugs.
Nucana has taken the lead drug, Acelarin, through Phase 1 and 2 trials successfully for pancreatic, ovarian and biliary cancers. This market is estimated to be circa $4bn annually. Currently, Acelarin is in Ph 3 trials for biliary cancer. This trial is crucial since it will prove the efficacy of the technology. There is a further library of drugs behind Acelarin which makes the technology potentially applicable to other approved drugs.
Gordian Pharma is the vehicle that Morvus established to develop MTL-004, a disruptive technology designed to replace the chemotherapy market of platinates such as carboplatin and cisplatin. Platinates and alkylating agents account for ~$7.5bn of the $20bn annual chemotherapy market. They are in strong demand as both monotherapies, and in combination with cell-cycle inhibitors. The technology cross-links the DNA strands in the tumour preventing replication and causing apoptosis (cell death). In addition to greater efficacy, MTL-004 has none of the terrible side effects which the other platinates cause. In order to facilitate the funding and prevent dilution to the ProTide technology, financing was raised directly into Gordian. This was successfully completed over the summer and the 24-month programme is underway which will make the drug clinic ready.
MTL-401 is another platform technology which enables the bioengineering of obligately anaerobic bacteria clostridium. This technology is being used as a tool to develop a vaccine for Clostridium difficile (C. diff)and has been out-licensed to Pfizer. The vaccine would be a first-in-class protection for an urgent public health threat which is both hospital and community associated. The vaccine is currently in a Ph 3 trial.