Evidence from clinical studies shows it provides long-term treatment for maintaining the body’s iron stores. In our view, these factors provide a solid support for negotiating attractive deal terms.
Emma Ulker, Proactive Research
What Shield does
Its lead asset, Feraccru (Accrufer in the States), is an oral treatment for iron deficiency with or without anaemia, which is approved in Europe and the US.
The US opportunity alone could be worth in excess of US$1bn, analysts reckon.
A deal with ASK Pharm (Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical), covers China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to market Ferracru.
The drug has a range of features that help differentiate it from the more established iron treatments including:
• Twice-daily dosing without food providing high iron availability
• Raises haemoglobin and iron levels effectively
• Prolonged therapy maintains Hb levels
• Well tolerated
• Non-inferior to IV iron
How it is doing
Shield raised £25mln through a share placing and subscription at 30p in February to launch and market its Accrufer iron deficiency treatment in the US.
An open offer to existing shareholders is also being undertaken to raise up to a further £4.2mln.
Shield has been working on its own plans for the US marketing of Accrufer since last year.
External sales estimates support the potential for sales to exceed US$100mln from the third year following launch, it said, and to reach US$300mln-US$400mln by years five to six.
Allowing for launch costs, breakeven on a monthly basis will be within 15-18 months after launch and Shield believes funding of around US$30mln to US$40mln would be enough to reach breakeven.
In March, Australia’s Therapeutics Goods Administration approved Feraccru to treat iron deficiency with or without anaemia in adults.
What the boss says: Tim Watts, chief executive
What the analyst says: Emma Ulker
“STX is preparing to launch prescription iron replacement treatment Accrufer in the US, a market estimated to be worth US$1.2bn pa, the largest global market for iron replacement treatment.
A self-launch can provide STX with the lion’s share of projected profits, peak sales estimate of up to US$400mln by year six, and is timely given the opportunity to gain traction given the unmet need for a well-tolerated, effective and convenient treatment for Iron Deficiency (ID).