We are delighted to bring you an introductory note from Peterhouse on SalvaRx, whose shares listed today:
SalvaRx's (SALV) long term aim is to develop a pipeline of complementary cancer immunotherapy-focused products and technologies that can work to activate the body's immune system and down-regulate tumour progression. Prolonged patient survival is highly valued by healthcare systems and Pharma companies buying pipelines. Success in the clinic with its first investment, iOx Therapeutics, could be a valuable entry ticket to potential billion-dollar licensing deals.
iOx Therapeutics is set to start an Oxford University-funded Phase 1/2 trial to evaluate its patented iNKT agonists in metastatic melanoma - alone and in combination with an approved PD-1 'checkpoint' immunotherapeutic.
SALV's shares commenced trading on AIM today, following a £1.95m share placing. The company's model is to proactively seek out technologies which complement its cancer focus and where it can 'design in' its vast collective scientific and management experience of immuno-oncology development.
A substantial >$70bn market opportunity is forecast by 2020; indeed it is estimated that in 2014 cancer immunotherapy drugs captured nearly 50% of the overall oncology drugs market. Unsurprisingly, the last five years have seen investor interest in new forms of cancer treatment push new listings to record highs.
Despite a recent softening in the global biotech IPO market, the cancer immunotherapy segment has become a focus of attention for industry M&A, with high-value deals (some >$1bn) - even for preclinical programmes. The opportunity for SALV investors to exit on a premium multiple should be a realistic prospect.