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Aequus Pharmaceuticals has the right Rx to bring new drugs to the Canadian market

Snapshot

It takes medications already available in the US or elsewhere and licenses or acquires the Canadian rights to get them approved and commercialized

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Quick facts: Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc

Price: 0.17 CAD

TSX-V:AQS
Market: TSX-V
Market Cap: $13.67 m
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  • Specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality products
  • Pipeline includes several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant, and a development stage pipeline in neurology and psychiatry
  • Recent quarterly financial results show a return to revenue growth 

What does Aequus Pharmaceuticals do:

Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc (CVE:AQS) (OTCQB:AQSZF) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products.

The Vancouver-based company has expanded its pipeline to include several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant, and a development stage pipeline in neurology and psychiatry with a goal of addressing the need for improved medication adherence through enhanced delivery systems.

The pharmaceutical firm has several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant in its pipeline and a development stage pipeline in neurology and psychiatry.

Aequus takes medications that are already available in the US or elsewhere and licenses or acquires the Canadian rights, then takes the clinical data that supported that approval and works with Health Canada, Canada’s national health system, to get them approved and commercialized in Canada.

A trio of pharmaceutical products currently form the core of its business.

The first is Zepto, an FDA-approved precision pulse technology that offers benefits over traditional surgical techniques to remove cataracts. The Zepto technology was licensed from Mynosys Cellular Devices, a Fremont, California-based company.

The second is Vistitan, which reduces the pressure inside the eyes of patients with glaucoma and was first marketed by the pharmaceutical giant Sandoz.

Its third drug is the transplant therapy Tacrolimus, which aims to treat and prevent acute rejection following an organ transplant.

The most recent addition to the development pipeline is a long-acting form of medical cannabis, where there is a high need for a consistent, predictable and pharmaceutical-grade delivery of products for patients.

Aequus intends to commercialize its internal programs in Canada alongside its current portfolio of marketed established medicines and will look to form strategic partnerships that would maximize the reach of its product candidates worldwide.

How is it doing:

Aequus recently released second-quarter results showing that it is seeing revenue growth once again.

Revenue for the quarter ended 30 June 2019 was C$397,263, compared to C$377,855 a year earlier. That was a 5% increase year-over year and a 20% jump from the first quarter of 2019 when the Vancouver-based company earned C$328,996 in revenue.  

Earlier this year, Aequus doubled its commercial product roster with an exclusive license deal with UK-based Medicom Healthcare Ltd for a line of products to treat dry eye, including Medicom’s Evolve line of preservative-free, dry-eye products within Canada.

The dry-eye market is estimated to be worth more than C$90 million, and Aequus and Medicom are working with Health Canada to review Medicom’s manufacturing facility prior to submitting the regulatory package for the Evolve line of products.

Aequus signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Medicom Healthcare Ltd, to distribute the private UK-based company’s therapies in ophthalmology.

Under the distribution agreement, Aequus will receive commercial rights to novel portions of Medicom’s portfolio of ophthalmology products including the Evolve line of preservative free dry eye products within Canada.

Inflection points:

Aequus plans to build on its Canadian commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license; remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas.

The company is also working on a full pipeline of new products to tackle epilepsy, psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Epilepsy medications Topiramate XR and Oxcarbazepine XR are currently in the pre-registration phase in Canada. Two drugs, AQS1301 for psychiatric disorders and AQS1303, an anti-nausea treatment, are in the clinical stage, while AQS1304 for neurological disorders is in the pre-clinical stage.

What the boss says:

Aequus CEO Doug Janzen commented recently: “With the regulatory approval of the Evolve line of products expected in 2019 and continued strength in our currently marketed products, Aequus is poised to continue the trend in revenue growth over the coming quarters.”

Contact Angela at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @AHarmantas

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Watch

Aequus Pharmaceuticals acquires Canadian rights to therapies for Dry Eye

Aequus Pharmaceuticals (CVE:AQS-OTCQB-) Chairman and CEO Doug Janzen sat down with Steve Darling from Proactive Investors Vancouver to discuss the company acquiring the Canadian rights to a line of products that help people deal with Dry Eye. 

on 13/3/19

4 min read