ASX-listed biotech company Botanix has just recently made news when it pulled off $15 million in equity from more than 15 new investors. Before this, the shares of Botanix were down more than 7% to 13 cents but is still far ahead of the equity raising price of 11 cents per share (Vesparum Capital took in the advisory role in the independent capital markets for Botanix, whereas Argonaut Securities Pty Ltd and Bell Potter Securities Limited were the joint lead managers to the placement.).
According to the company’s executive director, Matthew Callahan, the overwhelming support that they have received from the recent equity raising is a clear support of their company goals and strategies. Furthermore, Callahan said, “Our recent results validate and support the broader utility of Botanix’s product portfolio, given the strong evidence of the role synthetic cannabidiol can play in inflammation”.
Botanix’s anti-acne drug BTX 1503
Botanix will use the said money to further develop its cannabidiol-based drug, BTX 1503, as a treatment for acne. Earlier this year, the company has announced that this drug seemed to b very effective at reducing inflammation during clinical trials.
To support this claim, the Director of Dermatology at the Epworth Hospital and Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne, Rodney Sinclair said that BTX 1503 is not only effective against acne but also works fast and can reduce the side effects like skin irritation.
During clinical trials undertaken in an FDA-approved laboratory in the US, BTX 1503 was found to work against the non-resistant and antibiotic-resistant strains of the acne-causing bacterium Propionibacterium acne. According to Botanix, this is the very first time that a drug shows a great antibacterial effect against both non-resistant and resistant strains, and in order to protect this discovery, the company has already filed a patent.
Prior to Botanix’s discovery, there were already published studies suggesting that cannabidiols are very good in helping reduce skin sebum (oil) production, controlling the abnormal growth and increase of keratinocytes, and preventing further inflammation. However, BTX 1503 is the first ever drug to actually do this and have a significant antibacterial impact against the bacterium’s colonization of the hair follicles.
To date, various drugs like Accutane (Isotretinoin) and Roaccutane are used to decrease skin sebum production. But unlike BTX 1503, these drugs harbor proven side effects such as lymphoma, birth defects, and increased tendencies to do suicide.
Botanix in 2018
With the raised money, Botanix is planning to start the second phase study for BTX 153 in June after securing new drug approvals from FDA. This study will generally encompass more than 400 subjects across the US and Australia. Botanix is currently working on a number of pharmaceutical products and at any time soon it may have again one or more clinical trials be open to their prospective patients.
Overall, more than 250 million people in the world are affected by acne. In the US alone, about 50 million people are suffering from it. With the discovery of the drug, problems concerning acne could be possibly solved soon.