Agenix featured at International Forum
Agenix’s China Investment Opportunity and Achievements
Featured at International Forum
Melbourne, Australia, 5 September 2012: Drug and diagnostic company Agenix Limited (ASX: AGX) was featured today as an emerging leader in China’s rapidly growing healthcare and drug development sector at the Australia-China Science and Research Fund Knowledge Exchange Symposium in Melbourne.
Agenix Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Weston told the audience that work
over the past few years to develop strong commercially focused professional business
relationships with internationally acknowledged leaders in China’s drug development and
healthcare industry meant that Agenix was now strongly positioned in one of the world’s
fastest growing pharmaceuticals markets.
Mr Weston said Agenix was on track to begin a clinical study in China for an anti-viral hepatitis B drug in 2014. The drug, called AGX-1009, is based on a proven active compound
successfully used in Gilead’s blockbuster Viread which is widely used in Europe and the US. It is patented at a chemical level in China to 2026 and international patent applications have been filed for its method of manufacture.
Mr Weston said the development of AGX-1009 is one of the drug candidates supported by the
Chinese Government’s State Special Funds for Important Newly-Developed Drugs and the
drug would be positioned as a low-cost, once-a-day therapy for millions of chronic hepatitis B patients in China who develop resistance to current approved therapies.
“China is one of the world’s fastest growing and most attractive pharmaceuticals markets. It makes good commercial sense for an Australian biotechnology company to focus its capital and expertise where we can create the most value for our shareholders,” Mr Weston said.
Mr Weston said China’s plan to spend US$1 trillion on healthcare in 2020 was driven by a
continuation of the nation’s economic and demographic trends, healthcare reforms and
policies laid out in the government’s 12th Five-Year Development Plan (2011-2015).
Mr Weston said China had identified pharmaceuticals and biotechnology in the 12th Five-Year Plan as one of seven national ‘strategic emerging industries’ and was encouraging public and private investment in these sectors to boost innovation and growth.
Agenix is working with experts at the Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology (IMB) of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and also at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing to commercialise AGX-1009 for the Chinese market.
“Pre-clinical work for AGX-1009 is well advanced with pharmacokinetics and pharmaceutics
results to date appearing favourable and toxicity studies continuing. Together with IMB we have developed and executed a pre-clinical program design that we believe will satisfy State Food & Drug Administration requirements,” Mr Weston said.
“China’s growing middle-class and an ageing population combined with more government
spending are combining to boost demand and create highly positive market conditions and
significant revenue-earning opportunities for established Australian businesses with a wholly owned China subsidiary as Agenix has through Agenix Biopharmaceutical Shanghai.
“A growing number of companies around the world are following our lead and have become
increasingly attracted to the idea of having R&D conducted in China, as in-country research offers a general low cost base, a large patient pool, improving IP protection and respected scientific capabilities combined with insights into the country’s growing drug markets,” Mr Weston said.