Amryt Pharma gets US patent for headline drug

Amryt Pharma has been granted a US patent for its lead drug to be used as a treatment in the lucrative orphan disease market.

The development forms the next stage in the Dublin-listed company’s positioning of Episalvan as a world leading treatment for the rare skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a hereditary condition that can be debilitating for sufferers but which currently has no available treatment.

The drug was initially set to be used as a treatment for partial-thickness wounds caused by a variety of things such as burns, skin grafts, and dermatological procedures — a use not, necessarily, off the table.

“We believe the unique characteristics of Episalvan could substantially improve the quality of life for EB sufferers and feel optimistic as we progress towards our phase III study,” said Amryt chief executive officer Joe Wiley.

“Our US patent complements our existing patent in Europe for the use of Episalven in the treatment of all partial thickness wounds and adds to our growing family of patents.”

Amryt plans to start phase III studies on Episalvan in the first quarter of 2017. It estimates the EB treatment market, alone, to be worth around $1.5bn (€1.3bn) annually.

The company — which was effectively relaunched out of a near €38m reverse takeover of Dublin-based investment firm Fastnet Equity, earlier this year —yesterday reported first-half revenues of €161,000 and a pre-tax loss of €4.1m for the six months to the end of June.

However, management said the company’s prospects remain “very encouraging” and the firm had a cash balance of €10.7m as of the end of last month.


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