What the company does 

Redx Pharma Plc (LON:REDX) is an early-stage drug developer that is bringing through treatments for cancer and fibrosis. 

Aside from research, it has two in-house programmes: RXC004 and RXC007. 

RXC004 is also a porcupine inhibitor and is being evaluated for Wnt-driven tumours.

Redx says it can be used alone or in combination with immuno-oncology agents such as anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors; the latter have been approved in several tumour types, for example, non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma and colorectal cancer.

The second programme is for RXC007, which is also for fibrosis patients but targets ROCK2, an enzyme in cell signalling pathways, so it works in a different way than porcupine inhibitors.

ROCK2 signalling plays a key role in both the inflammatory component and the tissue re-modelling that worsens many fibrotic conditions, and it is also active in chronic diseases such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

It has also partnered with AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), which licenced RXC006 for fibrotic diseases, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals to discover and develop two targeted cancer therapies.

How it is doing

2020 was a busy time for Redx, which clinched two major partnerships in the space of a month.

A licensing deal for a novel fibrosis treatment with pharma giant AstraZeneca will see the FTSE 100-listed group will pay US$17mln and up to a further US$360mln in development and commercial milestones, plus tiered royalties.

A collaboration meanwhile with US company Jazz Pharmaceuticals will aim to discover and develop two targeted cancer therapies.

Redx will lead the discovery of two drugs against two cancer targets on the Ras/Raf/MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway, while Jazz will take over thereafter and assume responsibility for regulatory and commercialisation steps.

The deal with Jazz builds upon an existing working relationship, as the UK group sold its pan-RAF inhibitor programme to Nasdaq-listed Jazz last July for US$3.5mln upfront and US$203mln in milestones and royalties.

The drug developer, which has one candidate in the clinic and another set to undergo a phase I study, had over £48mln in the bank as of the end of 2020.

Results from a first in man study of RXC004, a potentially best-in-class porcupine inhibitor targeting solid tumours, are expected by the middle of this year. RXC007, for fibrosis, is set to enter phase I in the first half.

What the boss says: 

“Key milestones lie ahead of us in the coming months,” said chief executive Lisa Anson.

“Redx has overcome the common industry challenge of funding and has ended the period with a strong balance sheet and the backing of new specialist life science investors.”

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