Shares of Eusol Biotech Co (雅祥生醫) yesterday soared on its debut on the Taipei Exchange’s Emerging Stock Board, as the company prepares to commercialize two central nervous system drugs in its late-stage pipeline.
The stock surged 68 percent to an intraday high of NT$54 before settling at NT$43.39, above its average trading price of NT$42.73.
The company’s SM-1 is a time-release treatment for insomnia composed of three common sedative sleep aids — diphenhydramine, zolpidem and lorazepam.
The company said that its patented sequential medicine capsule formulation makes it possible to release each of the three sedatives at the appropriate time to help people fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer, as well as feel fresher when they wake up.
Compared with stand-alone treatments, SM-1 contains the lowest possible dose of each of the three sedatives, which helps prevent side effects, drug tolerance and dependency, Eusol spokesperson Chang Wan-ya (張婉雅) said by telephone.
Eusol has not ruled out expanding the its novel time-release formulation to other indications, such as pain management, Chang said, adding that the company is currently focused on launching SM-1 for the US market.
Eusol’s pipeline also includes EF135, a recombinant acidic fibroblast growth factor that is being developed for spinal cord injury repair.
Due to EF135’s high development costs, the Eusol is focusing first on the domestic market, but will seek seek distribution partners for other markets further down the line, he said.
SM-1 and EF135 have begun phase III clinical trials and are expected to be approved in 2021 and 2024 respectively, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) analyst Jane Jiang (蔣欣穎) said in a report yesterday.
Spinal cord injury patients treated with EF135 had showed significantly better motor function scores compared with patients treated with standard care, Jiang said.
There is currently no medication for repairing spinal cord injury, she said.
As for SM-1, the drug faces little competition from generic insomnia drugs and should generate peak annual sales of NT$68 million to NT$135 million (US$2.25 million to US$4.4 million) if its US market penetration reaches between 5 and 10 percent, Jiang said.
As of the end of June, Eusol had total cash and cash equivalents of NT$395 million, while expenses — including research — were about NT$133 million.
Net losses were NT$105 million, expanding from losses of NT$77 million a year ago.
Established in 2005, Eusol’s major investors include Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) cofounder Ted Hsu (徐世昌), while Chang Hong-jen (張鴻仁), its chairman, had served at the Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as the National Health Insurance Admnistration.
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