Biotech firm Genexine’s major pipelines could be worth more than 3 trillion won ($2.78 billion) at the current value, an analyst said Monday.
Kang Ha-young, a research analyst at KTB Investment & Securities, said the company’s investigational drug GX-H9 (long-acting growth hormone) was worth 333.2 billion won, HyLeukin (an immunotherapy), 916.2 billion won, Papitrol-188 (cervical cancer treatment), 1.4 trillion won, and a combined therapy of Papitrol-188 and Keytruda (an immunotherapy), 382.6 billion won.
The analyst’s estimates were based on anticipation for combined treatments of immunotherapies, clinical success probability, and market shares of related products. When combined, Genexine’s new drug pipelines could be worth 3.42 trillion won in total, Kang said.
The analyst chose HyLeukin as the most anticipated drug to be given in combination with other immunotherapies. Genexine is planning a clinical trial to test HyLeukin’s combo with immunotherapy and select a partner firm within this year.
The company is conducting a phase-1b local trial on a single dose of HyLeukin in patients with solid cancer. The biotech firm is also reportedly preparing a phase-1b study in patients with glioblastoma in the U.S.
Industry watchers are paying attention to whether Papitrol-188 in combination with Keytruda will prove effective in treating cervical cancer. If the combo therapy produces meaningful results, the value of Genexine’s pipeline will rise, they said.
Genexine said it would start the phase-1b and phase-2 studies of Papitrol-188 and Keytruda combo drug within the second quarter this year.
The studies aim to investigate the response rate of antigen-specific T cells in combined therapy with Keytruda, which has a low response rate to cervical cancer, and to confirm the safety of the combo treatment.
The company is also studying on changes in dose of growth hormone GX-H9 from once daily to once a week or twice a month, after proving non-inferiority and safety of the drug in pediatric patients compared to a control group.
“Multinational pharmaceutical firms have developed long-acting growth hormones in the growth hormone deficiency market, but no company has succeeded in commercializing one. GX-H9 is a drug candidate that extended the half-life of growth hormone,” Kang said. “Such treatment market is worth $3 billion a year. From 2020, the market will start expanding with a release of long-acting growth hormone product.”
For the value estimation of Genexine’s new drug candidates, Kang calculated and combined the four pipelines’ net present values with risks weighted. Considering the target disease and clinical stages, the analyst assumed HyLeukin’s development success rate at 15 percent, that of GX-H9 at 33 percent, Papitrol-188, 10 percent, and Papitrol-188 and Keytruda, 8 percent.