Nuformix plc (LON:NFX) Executive Director Dan Gooding caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the revised agreement with Oxilio for NXP001 and the progress on NXP002 & NXP004.
Q1: You’ve announced that Nuformix has entered into a revised agreement with Oxilio for NXP001. We understand that Oxilio already has an exclusive licence for NXP001 so could you outline what this revised agreement actually covers?
A1: Nuformix, which is central to all of its programmes, has used various technologies to secure intellectual property. In this case, and in all cases, actually in all of our programmes, intellectual property that protects re-enabled existing drugs to do new things and have improved performance and properties.
So, we’d licenced the intellectual property related to NXP001 to Oxilio in the past, and Oxilio have then been progressing the development of that asset exclusively under their R&D control. They have felt that that’s an asset that they would like to take 100% control of and actually own it as an asset instead of just having a simple licence.
That means that the terms of the licence agreement were transferred from that to a purchase agreement. Broadly, what that means is that there are new upfront payments due to NFX as Oxilio is a private company, the exact details of those payments remain commercially confident to Oxilio.
The net effect to us as a company is that we were responsible previously, under the terms of the licencing agreement, for the upkeep of that patent to estate, that that responsibility now sits with Oxilio. So, the net effect of these additional upfront payments and the reduced cost of having to maintain the IP estate are a material impact to the company in its current cash position.
So, both parties are very happy with the transaction. The details of the transaction previously were described as having development milestones and royalties, and, as we can see from the announcement today, there are development milestones retained and the royalties remain as previously announced.
Q2: What does the revised agreement for the group now and for in the future?
A2: It’s validation of the technology. Oxilio has worked with the technology in looking at how it might take the technology into various development programmes that it’s considering, it’s obviously happy with what it’s seen and has opted to take ownership of the asset.
So, it’s validation of the technology, additional upfront payments that we weren’t previously going to receive before, and then, as I’ve mentioned, a net impact on not having to maintain that IP estate.
What that means for us is that we now have additional reserves in which to focus into our NXP002 and NXP004 programmes which as previously described remain the core programmes to the business.
Q3: You’ve just mentioned NXP002 and NXP004 programmes, obviously you can progress those now, but can you just remind us where you are with those programmes?
A3: For those that are not familiar, NXP002 is a treatment for idiopathic lung fibrosis that the business is looking to progress. We have undergone a quite significant pre-clinical R&D process where we’ve been able to significantly de-risk numerous aspects of that programme as an inhalation therapy to treat IPF. As previously communicated, we are now focusing on business development opportunities for that programme and looking to engage with partners at that programme to take that programme forward collaboratively or exclusively with a partner, those discussions are ongoing.
Actually, we’re in a similar position with NXP004, we have data that supports potential applications of that for improved oncology products, and we are in discussions with potential partners on that.
Therefore, typically what happens is that during these discussion, data is presented to potential partners, sometimes partners like to see an additional experiment repeated or an additional data point collected. A transaction such as these will allow Nuformix to go off and do that, effectively dealing with any objections or questions it receives as part of that partnering process.
So, as communicated before, partnering these two core programmes remains our absolute focus and transactions such as these allow us to that really effectively given the process we’re undertaking.
Q4: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our listeners before we conclude?
A4: I think that those that are familiar with the business knows the phase that we’re currently in and focusing on the out-licencing of these assets, we’re running an effective process.
Out-licencing as an activity is not something that we are a stranger to as a business, either myself or the Chairman Julian Gilbert, in terms of programmes that he’s been involved with previously that are really quite analogous to what we’re trying to do with NXP002.
So, delighted with the progress that we’re making there and look forward to reporting back any development as we look to move forward our BD activities with both NXP002 AND NXP004.