PharmAust secures patent portfolio

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Clinical-stage oncology company PharmAust (ASX:PAA) has entered an agreement with Nihon Nohyaku (NNC) to assign NNC’s interests in a joint patent portfolio to PharmAust.

In return NNC will receive royalties on sales.

The portfolio consists of two patent families entitled Anticancer agent comprising aminoacetonitrile compound as active ingredient. The company said these patents relate to a library of novel aminoacetonitrile (AADs) compounds, originally patented by Nihon Nohyaku, as anticancer agents. 

The AADs are related to but distinct from Monepantel, which PharmAust is developing for clinical trials in humans and dogs diagnosed with cancer.

According to CEO, Dr Richard Hopkins, “We are delighted Nihon Nohyaku has agreed to assign its joint intellectual property rights to PharmAust. This means PharmAust now fully owns rights to over 50 novel AAD compounds, which can potentially be used to develop a proprietary pipeline of anti-cancer compounds.” 

The company said it is also progressing licensing discussions with Elanco, which own the rights to Monepantel and has registered the drug for use in animals. 

PharmAust has engaged its subsidiary Epichem to synthesise and optimise selected AAD candidates from the NNC library for screening in anti-cancer assays. 

Dr Hopkins added, “The ability to access the in-house medicinal chemistry expertise at Epichem is a key competitive advantage of PharmAust. The Epichem team has optimised several drugs that are now in late-stage clinical trials so they really know what they’re doing. We expect to announce the outcome of these pilot studies later in the year.”