Amryt Pharma targets €1.3bn orphan disease market

Dublin-listed drug firm Amryt Pharma is planning to widen the scope of its late-stage wound-healing drug this year, to target the $1.5bn (€1.3bn) orphan disease market.

Earlier this year, Amryt gained European Commission approval for its Episalvan product 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 market launch is understood to be imminent.

The company is keen to widen the scope of the product and plans to start a pivotal study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of Episalvan in treating the rare skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa (EB); a hereditary condition which can be debilitating for sufferers.

Amryt non-executive chairman Harry Stratford said the company is “very excited” about Episalvan’s potential, adding that management believes the product has been “meaningfully de-risked” by the commission’s approval for partial thickness wounds.

“Amryt is focused on building a diversified portfolio of commercially attractive, propriety new drugs targeting best-in-class performance to help address some of these rare and debilitating illnesses for which there are currently no available treatments,” he said.

The initial product will be a revenue driver, but providing a treatment for EB in Europe and the US could be transformative and open an estimated $1.5bn market opportunity.

Amryt effectively relaunched in April via a near-€38m reverse takeover of Dublin-based investment firm Fastnet Equity and a dual share listing on Dublin’s ESM and London’s AIM markets.

Amryt is looking to change its financial year to the calendar year.

However, new figures for the year to the end of last March showed a cash balance of €12.6m, but a net loss of €36m.

This comprised general and administrative costs and the cost associated with the discontinuing of Fastnet’s oil and gas operations.

Fastnet last year switched its focus from oil and gas to healthcare and biopharma investment.

Its old exploration assets — mainly located in the Celtic Sea — have been demerged into a standalone company called Fastnet Hydrocarbons, thus re- moving any further cost exposure to the new business.


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