Northland Capital Partners Head of Research Vadim Alexandre caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM)
Q1: Now Vadim, Northland have just been appointed as nominated adviser and sole broker, with immediate effect, to ImmuPharma PLC, what are your thoughts on the company?
A1: So ImmuPharma’s a rare gem on AIM in that it’s a company with a late-state drug development asset, there aren’t that many and what we mean by that is that it has a Phase III asset, a drug that’s Phase III in terms of clinical trial development. Overall, what I see is that ImmuPharma is grossly undervalued, basically a drug with this stage of asset development usually it is significantly more valued than where it is, currently ImmuPharma’s market cap is just over £50 million, US peers in that space are in the hundreds of millions. So, there’s a rare opportunity here to get into a relatively low risk asset at a good price.
Q2: What are ImmuPharma’s prospects for the next few years?
A2: In terms of this trial, so this is their lead asset which is a drug called Lupuzor, it’s for the treatment of lupus, that trial is ongoing, in fact they just announced, at the end of the last year, that enrolment is complete for that trial. So not only are they in Phase III trials for that treatment but the trial itself is fully enrolled which means that we can expect a read-out from that trial before the year-end of this year-end and that a positive read-out in that trial would be a substantial achievement for the company. We would expect that to have a major re-rating in the share price especially given, as I was saying previously, that the shares I believe are grossly undervalued. Finally, they have other assets in other programmes, they have an oncology programme which is Phase II ready and they have some pre-clinical assets as well, all of which we hope to see some news flow from but the key here really is the read-out this year on that Phase III trial and again, enrolment complete sets a timeline which we can almost be sure that that read-out should happen sometime this year.
Q3: Who are ImmuPharma’s closest peers in the UK?
A3: There is another company called Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB), it’s not a peer in terms of the same asset class so it’s in a different area, it’s an antibiotic, however it’s a Phase III as well, and that company also, right now, is conducting two Phase III trials which are supposed to read-out in the next quarter, like I was saying, the key there is that they’re late-stage companies. More importantly is, in terms of the exact area in which ImmuPharma is in, there’s a drug called Benlysta which is a GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) drug, you were talking about peers well it’s interesting to know that Glaxo bought that drug or bought in the rights to that drug from another company called Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI). They bought a 50% stake in it, well the residual 50% stake that they didn’t have they were jointly developing this drug Benlysta for lupus, for $3.5 billion or something like that, just over $3 billion so it gives you an idea of the potential valuation of a successful drug, a new successful drug like ImmuPharma’s Lupuzor, how much it can command in terms of interest from a large cap pharma.