New name for evolving Novogen

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Sydney-based oncology-focussed biotechnology company Novogen (ASX:NRT) is proposing a name change.

The company is evolving away from a traditional biotech business model, under which companies take internally discovered intellectual property through the entire development process, and is now looking to 'win' one part of the process, such as late stage clinical development to early phase 2.

"Taking a drug through the entire process is very tough because as smaller scale companies we simply can't be good at everything. Some can be good at different parts of the process, development or commercialisation, but how many are good at everything?" CEO Dr James Garner recently told PharmaDispatch.

Under the proposed name change Novogen will become ‘Kazia Therapeutics’.

According to the company, the new name is inspired by words such as 'Kaizen', which in Japanese refers to the business philosophy of continuous improvement, and 'cassia', a type of tree which is significant in several cultures. 

Shareholders will vote on the new name and rebrand at the Annual General Meeting on 15 November.  

In a letter to shareholders, chair Iain Ross said in relation to the name change, "We recognise that such measures are sometimes considered cosmetic, but I want to assure you that in this case they are carefully considered, and integral components of a well-planned corporate transformation.

"Novogen has been many things to many people, and we remain proud of our historical achievements. However, to fully realise our future potential, we need our stakeholders to be able to see us with fresh eyes, and to consider us without the encumbrance of the Company’s numerous and varied past iterations.

"With the imminent return of GDC-0084 to the clinic, and the successful transition of Cantrixil into human trials last year, Novogen has earned the right to redefine itself, and your Board seeks your support for the Company’s revitalised sense of purpose."

He continued, "Drug development is invariably a capital-intensive business, and any company that pursues new therapies for a disease as challenging as cancer is required to boldly make significant investments in order to have any chance of success."