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Pharmaxis - Encouraging Early Data from Scar Removal Study

Pharmaxis (PXS: $0.081) has released some data on the first eight patients treated with its drug candidate, PXS-6302, to remove existing scars. The first eight patients were all treated with PXS-6302 whilst the next 42 being recruited are blinded between placebo or active arms.


Skin biopsies taken a day after the first application of the cream show excellent penetration into the skin layers as well as a high inhibition of the target enzymes, lysyl oxidase. Scarring biomarkers were reduced in the skin, consistent with animal studies, which has returned the layers of the skin back to a normal physiological process. Professor Fiona Wood stated that: "We have noted positive changes in appearance and pliability of scars in those patients on active drug," with those results now needing to be confirmed in the placebo controlled part of the study underway.

Final results were expected this year, however the study is only 57% recruited (24 of 42 patients), so final data is now expected in the first half of next year. One side effect from the treatment has been itching and redness at the treatment site, causing four patients to withdraw from the study. To reduce this side effect, treatment has been reduced from daily to three times a week.

On a conference call, Pharmaxis CEO Gary Phillips said that both LOX and collagen levels in the skin have been reduced following treatment with PXS-6302. The enrolment criteria has been modified to help accelerate recruitment into the study. Phillips believes this is a drug which will have a disease modifying effect, representing a multibillion-dollar annual market.

Pharmaxis is capitalised at $44 million with a proforma cash balance at June 30 of $21 million.

Bioshares recommendation: Speculative Buy Class A


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