Shares in Evgen Pharma plc (LON:EVG) soared on Tuesday afternoon after the drug developer revealed it had been granted a US patent which “significantly broadens and extends [its] intellectual property” around its lead product SFX-01.
Shares were up 14% to 25p shortly before the close of play in London.
The new patent covers the manufacturing process of SFX-01 – a synthetic version of the naturally occurring compound sulforaphane – and runs until 2033.
“This patent grant extends our intellectual property protection in the world's largest pharmaceutical market and is the first of a potentially broad geographical spread of patents that are pending in Europe, Japan, India, China, Canada, Brazil and Australia,” said chief executive Stephen Franklin.
Under the terms of the licence agreement with PharmAgra Labs Inc – the US lab which invented the compound – Evgen holds the exclusive worldwide rights to the patent.
Evgen is currently conducting two phase II trials of SFX-01; one in advanced breast cancer and the other in a type of stroke called subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Today’s patent grant comes a day after Evgen signed a services agreement with a consortium of Cheshire-based drug development firms.
The group aims to help clients turn promising molecules and compounds into valued medicines, which Evgen hopes to do with SFX-01.