ASX-listed AusBiotech member Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) has received the Blake Award for Excellence after a successful year, including an FDA approval and key commercial partnerships.
Australia’s top performing ASX-listed life science company for 2023, Neuren Pharmaceuticals (Neuren), was awarded the Blake Award for Excellence (the Blakey) at the recent Bioshares Biotech Investment Summit in Hobart.
In March 2023, Neuren, through its US partner Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD), gained FDA approval for DAYBUE (trofinetide) for the treatment of Rett syndrome in adult and pediatric patients two years of age and older. DAYBUE is the first and only drug approved for treating the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome.
The neurological drug developer was awarded the Blakey Award during the two-day summit held in Hobart on 24-25 July, with company CEO Jon Pilcher accepting the accolade on behalf of the company.
AusBiotech CEO Lorraine Chiroiu said, “It was great to witness Jon and the Neuren Pharmaceuticals team receive much-deserved recognition for the work they have done to commercialise therapies targeting unmet medical needs. Successfully taking a breakthrough product to market, in an indication where there are no approved therapies, should be heralded as a huge success for both the Australian biotech community and Retts syndrome patients globally.”
Neuren has announced it received a US$40 million milestone payment following the first commercial sale of DAYBUE, and is eligible to receive ongoing royalties on net sales in North America plus milestone payments of up to US$350 million. Acadia provided encouraging insights into the US launch of DAYBUE, expecting net sales of US$21 to 23 million in Q2 2023 and US$45 to 55 million in Q3 2023.
In June, it also announced the expansion of its global partnership with Acadia for trofinetide, which under the new agreement, expands Acadia’s North America licence to a worldwide exclusive licence. Neuren will receive US$100 million up-front, plus additional potential milestone payments of up to US$427 million and royalties on net sales of trofinetide outside North America.
Neuren was reported as the top earner for 2023, with a reported share price of $14.20 (as at 18 April 2023) and a market return of 258.59 per cent. This followed a strong 2022, where Neuren Pharmaceuticals was listed as the second top returner in AusBiotech’s AusBioStocks April 2022 data. Neuren Pharmaceutical reported a share price of $4.18 at the end of Q1 2022, which had soared to $14.20 by the end of Q1 2023.
Neuren is conducting Phase 2 trials of its second drug candidate, NNZ-2591, for each of Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Pitt-Hopkins syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome.
Attracting around 200 of Australia’s leading company executives and investors, the Bioshares Biotech Investment Summit features around 25 speakers with special sessions, master classes, and presentations focused on central themes to explore in-depth business operations and challenges relevant to many companies in the sector.
The Bioshares Biotech Investment Summit was founded by David Blake and Mark Pachacz, the co-editors and independent analysts behind the popular Bioshares publication.
The Summit was established to enable investors and CEOs to meet and gain greater insights, away from day-to-day business pressures. The Summit began as a high-level event that has become a feature of the biotech investment calendar in Australia as well as an excellent networking opportunity.
In 2022 the Blake Award for Excellence (‘The Blakey’) was introduced in recognition of Bioshares Co-Founder David Blake and the significant impact he had on the sector. The inaugural winner in 2022 was Telix Pharmaceuticals for the stunning and rapid commercialisation of its radiopharmaceutical pipeline.