Acrux aims to make €18m from IPO

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Initial public offering, Transdermal patch, Stock market

Australian drug delivery company Acrux is hoping to raise A$30
million (€18m) in a float on the Australian Stock Exchange to
support the development of its novel transdermal technology that
does not require the use of adhesive patches or gels.

The company is planning to issue 30 million new shares at A$1.00 each, while up to 8.3 million existing shares may be made available for public application if there is greater demand.

Acrux is developing its transdermal system under the 'patchless patch' brand, and claims a number of advantages over other transdermal technologies.

Like rival transdermal technologies, Acrux' offers improved bioavailability, more uniform plasma levels, a longer duration of action resulting in a reduction in dosing frequency, and reduced side effects. It can also lead to improved therapy due to maintenance of plasma levels up to the end of the dosing interval compared to a decline in plasma levels with conventional oral dosage forms.

However, unlike patches Acrux technology does not cause local skin irritation, has a wider dosing flexibility and is more cosmetically appealing, claims the company. Products based on the technology are also easier to manufacture and can deliver a broader range of compounds than transdermal gels, it maintains.

The technology underpinning Acrux range of developmental products - including hormonal products for women and men, a female contraceptive and treatments for pain and central nervous system diseases - was originally discovered at Australia's Monash University.

The platforms consist of ACROSS enhancers - small, lipid-like compounds which allow drugs to pass through the skin - and the Metered Dose Transdermal System (MDTS) for transdermal administration.

The latter device is used in tandem with the ACROSS enhancers and the active drug. It is placed gently against the skin and depressed releasing a light spray which quickly dries on the skin. The ACROSS enhancers allow drugs to pass through the top layers of the skin. A once a day application typically delivers consistent amounts through the skin to the blood stream.

With its transdermal systems, Acrux targets a market that is already worth around $3 billion (€2.45bn) a year in the US alone and is growing at a rapid pace.

The reason is that transdermal delivery of drugs not only overcomes the main problem with oral or intravenous dosing - making sure patients actually take their drugs - but also avoids issues such as drastic changes in pH that accompany oral dosing, variable transit times in the gut, and rapid fluctuations in plasma concentrations.

Acrux has already completed 13 human clinical trials with six differentdrugs and tested more than 20 drug candidates. Two of Acrux's products are scheduled to enter Phase III trials in the US next year.

On completion of the initial public offer, Acrux will have a market capitalisation of A$131 million. Acrux's largest existing shareholder, the Queensland Investment Corporation, has indicated that it will take part in the IPO to lift its stake in Acrux to just over 10 per cent.

The IPO opens on 30 August and closes on 17 September.

Related topics: Ingredients, Delivery technologies

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