Island Pharmaceuticals Limited to list on the ASX today following oversubscribed A$7.5m IPO

2021-04-13 04:00 5657

MELBOURNE, Australia, April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Australian antiviral drug development company, Island Pharmaceuticals (Island) is set to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today after raising A$7.5 million through its Initial Public Offer (IPO) which was significantly oversubscribed.

Island shares are due to begin trading on the ASX around 10:30am AEST under the ticker code ILA. The IPO values Island at A$20.2 million, following the issue of 30 million fully paid ordinary shares at an offer price of A$0.25 per share.

The Company is repurposing ISLA-101, an oral antiviral drug, to treat mosquito-borne viruses, initially focusing on dengue fever – which the World Health Organization calls the most widespread and rapidly increasing vector-borne disease in the world[1]. Dengue fever affects an estimated 390m people worldwide each year[2] with no current available treatments, and is estimated to cost the global economy US$8.9b each year[3]. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimates that forty percent of the world's population – about 3 billion people – resides in regions at risk of dengue infection[4].

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum has named infectious diseases – a category which includes dengue and mosquito-borne viruses – a "clear and present danger" becoming a critical threat within the next two years[5]. For Dengue fever, as with many other mosquito-borne diseases, there is no current effective therapy and limited vaccines available.

Island's lead asset ISLA-101 is a repurposed drug, which should allow Island a much faster, less costly and less risky path to market compared to traditional drug development. Initially developed as a potential cancer drug by a large pharmaceutical company, ISLA-101 has already been through 48 Phase I and II clinical trials before being repurposed. It has also been verified as safe for clinical trials in humans by multiple regulators, including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Island Managing Director Dr David Foster said: "Island is working to solve urgent viral disease threats due to mosquito-borne viruses which are currently putting half the world's population at risk. Around 390 million humans are infected with dengue fever alone each year, representing a significant unmet need and opportunity. We are focused on delivering much needed antiviral drugs for these diseases, and repurposing drugs with a well-known history enables us to deliver a faster path to market to meet this critical unmet need."

"Our drug candidate, ISLA-101 already has demonstrated strong initial activity with promising results in human cells and animal studies for dengue, Zika and other viruses and the science is backed up by an exceptionally high-profile Global Advisory Board which includes Professor Stephen Thomas, the lead principal investigator for Pfizer/BioNTech's global Phase II/III COVID-19 vaccine trials, Dr Leigh Farrell and Dr Simon Tucker, both involved in the development of the antiviral influenza drug Relenza."

Given the high case numbers, economic and health impacts, and lack of treatment options for these diseases, Island is eligible for an FDA Priority Review Voucher (PRV) for ISLA-101 – when targeted at dengue fever, Zika virus or chikungunya virus – should the Company receive a New Drug Approval for any of these three diseases by the FDA. The PRV is tradeable via a secondary market and enables the holder to progress a new drug application with the FDA up to six months faster than under the standard process. This makes PRVs highly attractive to major pharmaceutical companies, with recent PRVs attracting an average valuation of ~US$110m.

The funds raised under Island's IPO will allow Island to conduct a Phase II study of ISLA-101 and provide working capital and funds for research and development.

PAC Partners was the lead manager to the Island IPO and IR Department provided investor relations support.

About Island Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Island Pharmaceuticals is a drug research and repurposing company, focused on developing preventative or therapeutic drugs for viral infections.

We have a lead asset – ISLA-101 - that was initially developed by our wholly owned subsidiary, Isla Pharmaceuticals. ISLA-101 is a drug with a well-established safety profile, being repurposed for the prevention and treatment of dengue fever and other mosquito (or vector) borne diseases.

Dengue fever is the very definition of an unmet medical need. While an estimated 390 million humans are infected each year, it is thought that around 30-50% people with the disease do not present with symptoms, enabling the virus to spread within communities. Warming global climates are accelerating the presence of mosquito-borne viruses that can cause death to the US, Europe and Australia.

There is no specific pharmaceutical treatment and the one approved vaccine is available to a highly restricted audience.

Island has repurposed ISLA-101, an antiviral oral drug to treat mosquito-borne viruses (eg dengue fever / Zika) and intends to complete Phase II studies with a significantly de-risked clinical program.

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Source: Island Pharmaceuticals
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