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C4X Discovery Holdings plc

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC: Innovative take on drug discovery


We take a look at a company with a unique approach to drug development that may ultimately help big pharma replenish its pipeline


Quick facts: C4X Discovery Holdings plc

Price: £0.39

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £22.54 m
  • Has a software-based rapid discovery platform 
  • Deal with Indivior worth £227mln in milestone payments
  • Discussions with "multiple" potential partners for a second drug 

What the company does 

C4X Discovery Holdings plc’s (LON:C4XD) stated aim is to become the world’s most productive drug discovery engine.

To achieve this goal it is using cutting-edge technologies and expertise to efficiently deliver small-molecule (pharmaceutical) medicines.

It has a unique software platform for determining the flexible 3D shapes of drug molecules from experimental data.

This enables the rapid design and discovery of novel and potent drugs for diseases with high unmet medical need across broad therapeutic areas.

Unlike many drug companies, it looks to find partners at the pre-clinical phase, allowing big pharma to fund expensive human trials.

It successfully out-licensed its programme for addictive disorders to Indivior, receiving an upfront £7.7mln (US$10mln) and milestones of £227mln (US$294mln).

It is working on potential treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and inflammatory bowel disorders and it has numerous collaboration deals.

Below is the company’s drug pipeline

The company is well-funded with just £9mln in the bank at the end of January having successfully concluded a £10.1mln City fundraiser last October. Its net assets are valued at £12.8mln.

Inflexion points

C4X recently confirmed it is in confidential discussions with “multiple” potential partners for a promising drug programme.

Its NRF-2 activator could help treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension as well as sickle cell disease.

“Having launched a partnering process for our NRF-2 programme, we are now in licensing discussions with pharmaceutical partners to take forward our lead series to clinical development,” chief executive Clive Dix, in commentary accompanying the company’s interim results.

Blue sky

As C4X pointed out in its recent interim results statement: “Opportunities to maximise value from the portfolio are proactively driven by C4XD's commercial division. The company is led by a highly experienced management team and board who have delivered significant value creation within the healthcare sector.”

CEO Dix has an impressive track record, which suggests he and the team have more than a fighting chance of achieving its aims. He was behind PowderJect, a vaccines business sold in 2003 for more than £500mln.


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