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Full year 2017 results

Update | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 14 Mar 2018

PharmaMar recently reported financial results for 2017. Sales for the year were down 0.9% to EUR 162.6m compared to 2016. Yondelis sales fell 4.1% to EUR 84.6m, mainly due to pricing erosion in Europe. However, the consumer chemicals division continues to grow and was up 3.4% for the year to EUR 72.0m. Importantly, the company’s Phase III trial testing Zepsyre® in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients is around 75% enrolled and expected to be fully enrolled in the middle of this year with data in H119.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

A slight delay

Update | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 13 Mar 2018

On the YE FY17 conference call, the company provided revised guidance on the dosing portion of its ongoing Phase Ib/II study of vecabrutinib (SNS-062) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and other B-cell cancers. The final dose is expected to be reached in fall 2018 (revised from mid-2018) due to an on-protocol expansion of the second (50mg) dosing cohort because of a dose-limiting adverse event (AE). At this time we do not consider this delay or the AE to be material to the success of the program.

Pixium Vision

Focus shifts to Prima as human trials proceed

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 08 Mar 2018

Pixium Vision is developing Prima, a potentially breakthrough wireless sub-retinal implant that generates electrical impulses at the retinal bipolar cell level to restore a form of central visual perception in patients with advanced retinal disease. While competing retinal implants generally target rare conditions involving near-total blindness, Prima seeks to address initially a larger unmet market indication, dry age-related macular degeneration (Dry-ARMD). Prima started human feasibility studies in late 2017 and could start EU pivotal trials in H119. Using a risk-adjusted NPV model, we obtain a pipeline rNPV of EUR 77.4m, down from EUR 82.6m previously.

Pluristem Therapeutics

New avenues of study

Update | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 28 Feb 2018

Pluristem continues to advance its PLX technology platform. In a recent paper it investigated the application of these cells for their ability to inhibit tumor growth; it was found that the cells inhibit growth of a mouse xenograft of a triple-negative breast cancer cell line and induced complete remissions in three out of 10 mice. Additionally, PLX-PAD received approval for an expanded access program from the FDA, allowing it to be used to treat critical limb ischemia (CLI) outside the ongoing Phase III clinical study.


Robust and stable Treg manufacturing

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 22 Feb 2018

TxCell has disclosed that it has a viable manufacturing route for its novel CAR Treg products. This uses a stable but low-frequency Treg cell type. The TxCell methodology uses a robust design to give low inter-patient variability with potentially consistent therapeutic results. Regulatory filings for a dose-ranging clinical trial are expected by late 2018. On the financial side, TxCell will need to draw at least EUR 10m of a new, less onerous set of convertible loans to support CAR Treg development. The indicative valuation has been increased to EUR 87.9m from EUR 84.4m as probabilities have been slightly adjusted. Cash on 31 December 2017 was EUR 4.9m.

Foresight Autonomous Holdings

Eye-Net to start trials - alpha version due end Q1

Flash note | Technology | 15 Feb 2018

Foresight has announced that it has completed the demo version of Eye-Net, its cellphone-based accident cell phone prevention system, and is now looking to complete the alpha version by the end of Q118. Eye-Net is a vehicle to infrastructure (V2X) system, which provides real-time alerts over standard cellular networks of potential accidents between pedestrians and vehicles as well as between vehicles themselves. To date, the company has carried out more than 15 successful demonstrations, in all of which it was able to alert users in time to enable them to brake safely. We see Eye-Net as a value enhancer for the Foresight group, which to date has focused on using autonomous safety features for vehicles and rail users.

PowerHouse Energy Group

Opening the door to the hydrogen economy

Outlook | General Industrials | 12 Feb 2018

PowerHouse Energy’s innovative, distributed waste-to-hydrogen technology satisfies the joint needs of powering fuel cell electric vehicles, finding an alternative means of waste disposal to landfill or incineration and providing a predictable form of clean energy to complement intermittent supplies such as wind and solar. The hydrogen and electricity are produced close to point-of-use, saving transportation costs and reducing transmission losses and the associated carbon footprint. The company has a pilot system near Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, and intends to commence commercial production in FY18.

Pluristem Therapeutics

Progress continues

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 05 Feb 2018

Pluristem Therapeutics has had a productive FY18 to date. The company is advancing PLX-PAD in its Phase III study of critical limb ischemia (CLI) and Phase II study of intermittent claudication (IC), with the latter expecting results in early 2018. Additionally, the company received an orphan designation for PLX-R18 for acute radiation syndrome (ARS) currently in non-human primate studies and expanded its Phase I study for support of stem cell transplant to additional sites. We value Pluristem at $202m.

Pixium Vision

Successful Prima activation in first patient

Flash note | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 30 Jan 2018

Pixium announced on 25 January 2018 the first human activation of the Prima wireless photovoltaic sub-retinal implant, following successful implantation one month ago. These events occurred as per the protocol of the five-patient European Prima feasibility study, which was approved by regulators in October 2017 to assess the device in patients who have lost light perception in their central visual field due to atrophic damage from atrophic dry age-related macular degeneration. Following Prima activation, the patient reported light perception in the central visual field, where there had been none previously, and will now proceed to visual re-training, to learn how to interpret the elicited light signals emitted by the Prima system. The successful Prima activation in this first patient is encouraging as an early suggestion of proof-of-concept that the device can interface with retinal cells to restore some visual perception. Additional implantations, along with results from the six-month safety assessment in this study, may further validate the Prima approach and potential.


Zepsyre misses in Ovarian, SCLC still promising

Update | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 23 Jan 2018

PharmaMar recently announced that Zepsyre® failed to show a progression-free survival (PFS) benefit over Topotecan and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in the 443-patient CORAIL study in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Zepsyre is currently in a Phase III trial in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients with protocols for pivotal studies in endometrial and breast cancer being finalised.

Clal Biotechnology Industries

Israeli science, worldwide presence

Initiation | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 15 Jan 2018

We are initiating coverage on Clal Biotechnology Industries (CBI), an Israel/Boston-based healthcare investment company with an extensive portfolio incorporating a diverse range of technologies, indications and stages of development. CBI holds direct investments in 10 companies (nine biotech and one medical device company), most importantly MediWound, a NASDAQ-listed wound care company, and Gamida Cell, which is developing a universal bone marrow transplant (BMT) product. Also, BioCanCell and Biokine have programmes in Phase III or Phase III ready. We value the company at NIS918m or NIS5.87 per share.


Growth pains

Update | Financials | 09 Jan 2018

MyBucks (MBC) is pursuing technological and regional growth initiatives despite immediate challenges in integrating new acquisitions. The group is fully committed to its strategy of supplying financial services to poorly serviced customers, primarily low and middle income clients in sub-Saharan Africa via the internet, cell phones and applications. The product range has been expanded to include SME loans and insurance products. New acquisitions have extended coverage up the continent’s eastern seaboard, but have required considerable integration efforts.