10th May 2010. Avexa closes Apricitabine (ATC) Program and announces CEO resignation, headcount redction & plan to explore strategic alternatives.
The Board of Avexa Limited (ASX:AVX) has resolved to cease any further development of its lead HIV program, ATC, following the unsuccessful conclusion of partnering discussions with global pharmaceutical companies.
This announcement follows the 2 October 2009 closure of ATC’s Phase III clinical trial. Since then, detailed results from this study at 24 weeks were provided to interested parties as part of a formal process designed to secure a licensing transaction. On Thursday, 6 May 2010, the last party involved in this process notified Avexa that it did not intend to submit a term sheet. Consequently, the Board of Avexa has resolved to cease all activities for this program.
Avexa has commenced a strategic review of its remaining programs and intends to consider suitable merger, acquisition, in-licensing opportunities and other corporate initiatives.
The Company has taken immediate action to reduce costs and will continue to actively preserve capital, including taking further action to significantly reduce overhead in combination with the strategic review process. Additionally, Julian Chick has resigned from the Board, effective immediately, and will leave his position as the Chief Executive Officer on 31 May, 2010.
“The Board wishes to extend its appreciation to Julian for his tireless efforts to create shareholder value via the development of ATC. The asset’s clinical milestone timelines were consistently achieved and the trial results, both in terms of safety and efficacy, were excellent. Unfortunately, for ATC, the compound’s successful development did not translate into a commercial deal to partner the program with a global pharma company and, as a result, the program is no longer viable. We are grateful for Julian’s contributions to the company as CEO since the company’s inception.” said Nathan Drona, Avexa’s Chairman.
The Board is of the view that Avexa has exhausted all possible avenues to complete a global licensing
transaction for ATC. However, it intends to continue discussions with smaller regionally focused companies who have expressed an interest in a regional licensing transaction for ATC. The probability of this type of transaction being executed remains uncertain and if completed would be unlikely to generate a meaningful return on the capital invested in the ATC program to date.