Australian drug developer Hunter Immunology and Probiomics have completed their merger, and plan to rename the combined company Bioxyne.
The business began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today (4 April), initially as Probiomics, but then as Bioxyne in the coming weeks.
At the commencement of trading, the company had a market capitalisation of more than A$33m with 149.9 million shares. Phillip Asset Management’s IB Australia Bioscience Fund owns 21% of the company and is the largest shareholder with 31 million shares.
The company’s main asset is a new vaccine in development called HI-164OV for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes bronchitis and emphysema.
Hunter Immunology announced its reverse takeover bid for Probiomics last October and the firms reached an agreement on the transaction in December. Before the merger, Probiomics sold a range of probiotics.
David Radford former chief executive of Hunter Immunology and now ceo of soon-to-be-named Bioxyne, said the aim now is to create ‘solid, financially beneficial relationships with global pharmaceutical partner organisations’ to speed up the commercialisation HI-164OV.
A number of global pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in a potential commercial partnership with the company pending the June release of final results from a 320-patient Phase IIb clinical trial of HI-164OV, he said.
Radford said interest has also been shown in the long-term potential value of the company’s proprietary mucosal immunology base drug technology.
‘These commercial opportunities involve several new therapeutic applications for a number of common human infections such as asthma and middle ear infection,’ he said.