– Algernon Rapidly Advances Clinical Trials For Two Lead Programs

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Since covering Algernon 6 months ago, the biotech sector has rebounded significantly and raised the valuations of many research and development companies. The XBI Biotech ETF is up 18% since the beginning of June to late July. Meanwhile, the next best performing sector is healthcare (+1.22%), followed by technology (+.82%), financials (-4.21%), and energy (-10.23%). Algernon caught the wave and their stock has rebounded 26% since mid-July (as of 8/16/22). In addition to the general bullish sentiment in the sector, Algernon has improved its fundamentals to warrant a substantially higher valuation than it’s $4.1M market cap (as of 8/16/22).

Here’s why.


Algernon’s Strategy

Drug repurposing

Developing new drugs is both extremely costly and time-consuming, with R&D expenses surpassing $1-2B (some estimates as high as $5B) and 12-16 years to bring a single drug to market. The rate of attrition of new drug candidates is extremely high, with a dismal 1.9% advancing fully through the FDA’s rigorous 3-phase clinical trial process. Clearly, there is a need for more intelligent drug discovery and development to keep the biotech engine cranking out new, life-changing therapies for some of medicine’s most intractable diseases. Drug repurposing solves this problem by finding new applications for already approved pharmaceuticals. The goal is to find new diseases that the established drug was not originally indicated for.

Advantages of repurposing:

  • The risk of failure is much lower since the safety of the drug has already been established in human trials.
  • The timeline is expedited since the safety studies (Phase 1) have already been completed. The average time to market is 6.5 years (compared to 12-16 years for new drug discovery)
  • Reduced R&D costs (repurposing development averages $300M, compared to $1-2B for new drug discovery)

De-risked development

Algernon Pharmaceuticals is employing drug repurposing strategies to test drug compounds that have demonstrated clinical efficacy in foreign jurisdictions but have never been approved in the USA or Europe. This is a very intelligent approach to claiming exclusivity in two of the largest international markets for drugs (by revenue) and erecting a barrier to entry for the original drug manufacturers. Essentially, they are piggy-backing off of the upfront (intense) capital outlay…

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