Shares in Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals rocketed over 120% after details were released of a patent application for a "new type of humanised mouse" that can be used to show how antibodies developed by the biotech company can treat leukaemia.
Hemogenyx, which is headquartered in London and operates via a wholly owned subsidiary in Brooklyn, New York, revealed on Monday afternoon that it had filed a provisional patent application relating its development of "a new type of humanised mice with a chimeric mouse-human blood system that can be used to advance product development, as well as for other disease modelling and drug development".
First data results from this mouse-human blood system have shown, the company said, that its CDX bi-specific antibody treatment is capable of attacking and eliminating the acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) blood cancer in the lab.
"Using these new humanised mice the company is confident that it should be able to demonstrate that its lead product, CDX bi-specific antibodies, are effective in the treatment of (AML). Use of the humanised mouse model should facilitate developing and progressing the CDX bi-specific antibodies into human trials, in line with the company's development timeline."
Hemogenyx's main focus is on developing new therapies that it hopes could do away with the need for chemotherapy or radiation before bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants, which would eradicate the need to find a perfectly donor match.
Using CDX bi-specific antibodies, an AML patient's own immune cells would be redirected to eliminate both the cancerous cells and blood stem cells, which would prepare the patient with relapsed/refractory AML for bone marrow transplantation. This avoids standard treatments that rely on giving patients intensive chemotherapy and radiation.
Vladislav Sandler, chief executive and co-founder of Hemogenyx, said: "We are hugely excited by the first solid data that we've received testing the efficacy of CDX antibodies against acute myelogenous leukemia. The results which show that they can attack and eliminate AML cells is a true breakthrough and a significant development in our process of developing CDX to become a universally available conditioning product for patients undergoing bone marrow transplants as a treatment for serious blood diseases.
"In addition the new type of humanised mice opens the door to extending our work into other disease models and specific drug development which we expect to be of great interest to large biopharmaceutical companies and could form the basis of a number of significant future collaborations."
AML affected about one million people globally in 2015 and resulted in 147,000 deaths. AML accounts for roughly 1.8% of cancer deaths in the United States with about 20,000 new cases diagnosed in the US and 18,000 cases in Europe every year.
Shares in Hemogenyx, which arrived on London's full list last year via an £8m reverse takeover into cash shell Silver Falcon, surged more than 120% from its recent low of 2.12p to 4.87p on Monday after the company prematurely disclosed the potential patent application. Directors said they regretted the early release, which is "not in accordance with the company's policies on the release of information".
Last year's reverse acquisition was completed by issuing of 228.57m shares
at a price of 3.5p apiece to the US company, with Silver Falcon having originally floated its shares at 3p on London's main market in November 2015.