Helix BioPharma Corp (TSX:HBP) (OTCMKTS:HBPCF) said Thursday it has taken various measures to protect the health and well-being of its staff while maintaining business continuity amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The company’s office and laboratory in Canada have been following the recommendations of federal, provincial and regional authorities. This includes operating a safe and clean working environment, providing means to work at home and observing latest public health guidance such as social distancing.
Except for a limited number of staff at the laboratory to maintain critical infrastructure operations, all Helix BioPharma’s personnel are working from remote locations.
As for clinical development initiatives, the company said its US Phase I L-DOS47 lung cancer study in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin (LDOS001) has completed patient recruitment. Study reports are being compiled and an abstract has been submitted to a conference.
As previously reported in the company’s recently filed second-quarter fiscal 2020 filings, its European Phase II L-DOS47 lung cancer study in Poland and Ukraine (LDOS003) no longer requires patient enrollment. The company indicated that the first stage of the study related to dose escalation would be concluded and progression to the second stage of the study would only proceed if a third-party was willing to partner with it on the study and upon a confirmatory medical review.
Helix BioPharma’s US Phase 1b/II pancreatic study of L-DOS47 in combination with doxorubicin (LDOS006) continues to enroll patients and has dosed two patients. But the COVID-19 crisis is expected to affect patient enrollment.
The Toronto-based company said it is working closely with the clinical trial site and the hospital to ensure the best care is being provided to patients while ensuring Helix complies with the hospital's COVID-19 protocols.
Furthermore, the company said it continues to engage both US and Canadian investment bankers and is preparing for a capital raise in combination with an up-listing to the Nasdaq.
Although Helix BioPharma had expected to conduct roadshows and face-to-face meetings with potential investors during April 2020, COVID-19 has made it impossible to do so. Instead, the company expects to conduct online meetings and conference calls.
The company noted that it recently closed a $6 million private placement which included the disposition of a 15.5% stake in its Polish subsidiary, Helix Immuno-oncology SA (HIO).
As previously disclosed, the company intends to fully divest its remaining 51% interest in HIO to raise additional capital to further fund its clinical development programs while retaining a licensing arrangement for future royalties and milestone payments.
“As a result of the recent private placement, the company is in a sound financial position allowing management to operate as normally as possible, in light of COVID-19,” Helix BioPharam said in a statement.
“Given that the duration and magnitude of the impact on the economy and the company’s business from COVID-19 is unknown, the company has implemented a review of operations in order to reduce or defer spending where possible, while maintaining key clinical and business program priorities.”
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