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C4X Discovery expects “significant progress” in 2018 as it looks for a partner to take its addiction drug through the clinic

“The next year will continue to focus on securing deal revenue from the commercial discussions initiated this year”
man smoking
C4X’s lead programme is Orexin-1 a potential treatment for addiction

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC (LON:C4XD) boss Clive Dix expects the drug discovery firm to make “significant progress” over the coming months after laying down the foundations for success over the past year.

Back in November, the company released data on an antagonist it has developed for the Orexin-1 receptor – the part of the brain which governs a person’s addictive behaviour.

Eight programmes on the go

It indicated that the treatment not only had an effect on cravings but also stopped relapse impulses.

C4X’s drug asset portfolio has grown to eight programmes across a number of therapeutics area, including immuno-oncology, diabetes and addiction.

The aim is to get that up towards 30 programmes and the firm has a couple bits of technology that should help it get there.

Drug discovery engine

Firstly, the company uses its Taxonomy-3 platform to identify genes that may contribute to someone having a disease.

That information is then processed through its Conformetrix technology to help it design a potential target more quickly and efficiently.

Once it has a candidate and the initial development work has been carried out, C4X then looks to bring on board a partner which will carry out clinical tests.

This is what the markets are looking for now: for C4X to sign its first partnership.

Partnership discussions

“The next year will continue to focus on securing deal revenue from the commercial discussions initiated this year, progressing our discovery candidates to pre-clinical development and commercialisation and continuing to replenish and build the pipeline by identifying novel and exciting drug targets,” said Dix.

Orexin-1 is the company’s lead asset and interim chairman Sam Williams thinks it will make “a compelling candidate” for partnership.

Cash in the bank

For the year to 31 July, C4X generated revenues of £143,000 (2016: £279,000), mostly through collaborations with partners.

Reflecting the increased drug discovery activity and continued development of its lead candidates, the company’s loss after tax crept up to £6.78mln (2016: £5.32mln).

C4Xraised a total of £12mln through two separate placings last year, leaving it with just over £6mln in the bank at the end of the period.

Shares were down 1% to 78.2p on Thursday morning.

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