CEO Q&A with Dr Matthew Stork at Cambridge Cognition Holdings plc (LON:COG)

Cambridge Cognition Holdings plc (LON:COG) Chief Executive Officer Dr Matthew Stork caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their business model, the new significant contract and what impact COVID-19 is having on the business.

Q1: First off, can you remind us what Cambridge Cognition does and tell us a little bit about your business model?

A1: The company markets solutions to assess brain health, more specifically cognition and we primarily focus on the clinical trials sector providing evidence, supporting the registration or claims for new drugs that affect cognition. We there to support evidence to show there’s an improvement in cognition in using a drug or typically if a drug doesn’t make cognition worse so there are the two different uses that we provide.

We also support other sectors so we market to other sectors as well, mostly through partner companies such as the use in health centres etc.

We are targeting market share growth in two large growth markets, the first is the market for electronic clinical outcomes assessments which is about measuring the effects of drugs electronically in clinical trials. Surprisingly, around half of clinical trials still use pen and paper so that’s a growth market, growing at around 17% per annum and it’s a large market, it’s about $1 billion per annum at this time.

We also target the digital health solutions market for central nervous system disorders and that’s the provision of apps mostly for measuring and also improving cognition and other factors affected by central nervous system disorders., That in itself is a large market growing at about 20% per annum and is about a $200 million market.

Q2: You’ve announced a significant new contract win, can you tell us more about it, what you are supplying and in particular what it means strategically for the Company?

A2: We’re delighted that we’ve won a new contract for providing both CANTAB and our new eCOA solution. CANTAB is our proprietary cognitive assessment that’s been developed over many years, it’s been upgraded and moved onto new platforms and we believe it’s the most widely used system in research in the world. Our new eCOA solutions, this is our electronic clinic outcome assessment solution which measures eCOA instruments which are mostly questionnaires and scales.

This contract is for a new pharmaceutical company, it’s one contract for three Phase II studies that’s affecting the impact of a compound in three different patient groups.

We are very pleased because it’s our second sizeable eCOA order for our new upgraded eCOA solution which we launched last year. That eCOA solution has some advantages in that it’s configurable so we can develop and implement new questionnaires and scales very quickly, much faster than the traditional route of hardcoding those for each customer.

This win also shows our strategy of upselling CANTAB to include eCOA is working, we’d expect more of such orders to follow in the future. Very pleasingly as well, this order includes the co-development of a new cognitive task that will be used in clinics to assess this patient population.

Q3: Now, everyone’s focus is obviously currently on the Covid-19 situation. What impact are you seeing on your business so far and is the current situation causing Cambridge Cognition any significant issues?

A3: To date, we’ve seen very little impact. We’ve had two studies that have notified us that they’re going to have delayed starts and at the moment we’re running around 50 different studies so that’s a small impact.

We’re obviously looking forward and taking contingency actions, everybody is now working from home, we’ve got very good remote working abilities and we also have got excellent systems in place to provide solutions for our customers. So, everybody working from home with excellent disaster recovery and resilience in place for our systems.

So, we’re obviously not certain about what we will come around the corner and happen in the future though at this point in time, the business is working normally. We’re obviously very concerned as people about making sure that the transmission of the disease is slowed down as much as possible so we don’t impact the healthcare systems around the world where we operate so we’re taking all the actions that we possibly can.

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