Rexahn Pharmaceuticals: Saving Lives Through Innovation




Episode Loading...




PharmaTelevision requires Javascript enabled and Adobe Flash Player to watch our programmes. If you do not have Flash installed, you can download it for free from the Adobe Flash homepage.

Improve your Internet experience and start watching exciting new video content.

Video title: Rexahn Pharmaceuticals: Saving Lives Through Innovation
Released on: November 17, 2009. © PharmaVentures Ltd
Share/save this page:
Email
Bookmark
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Follow us:
RSS
Twitter
  • Summary
  • Transcript
  • Participants
  • Company
In this interview, filmed at BioPharm in San Francisco, Dr Fintan Walton speaks with Rick Soni, Chief Operating Officer at Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, an innovative biopharmaceutical company.

They discuss:

• Rexahn’s areas of focus: CNS and Oncology
• the company’s 3 Phase II products
• partnering with Big Pharma and Rexahn’s current partnership with Teva
• Rexahn’s plans for the future
Rexahn's areas of focus: CNS and Oncology.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision news review here in San Francisco at BioPharm America. On this show I have Rick Soni, who is President and Chief Operating Officer of the company called Rexahn Pharmaceuticals based in Maryland here in the United States. Welcome to the show.
Rick Soni:
Thank you Fintan Walton.
Fintan Walton:
Rick Soni,Rexahn Pharmaceuticals company is a specialty type pharmaceutical company, could you describe what that company actually focuses on?
Rick Soni:
Yes Fintan Walton, Rexahn Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2001 by Dr. Chang Ahn. And his mission was to save patient lives and improve quality of life. Our focus is in two therapeutic areas CNS and oncology. We are listed on Amex.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
The company's 3 Phase II products.
Rick Soni:
We currently have three Phase II products. And we have a very strong preclinical pipeline of seven candidates that have very recognized value in the industry.
Fintan Walton:
So these three products that you've got through these are small molecules and where were they actually discovered?
Rick Soni:
Yeah. They are all small molecules. One of them is for erectile dysfunction , it " we just completed Phase IIA trials and we had some positive data withZoraxelTM. We are planning on starting a Phase IIb trail very soon. The second one is SerdaxinTM, it's currently in trials for depression. And we are very close to completing that trial and we will be " we'll be announcing some results from that in October.
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Rick Soni:
The third one is called ArchexinTM, which is for pancreatic cancer, currently in trials for pancreatic cancer, trials are taking place in the US as well as India. And we expect to get the data from it next year.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So where these molecules originate from?
Rick Soni:
All the oncology products originated within Rexahn Pharmaceuticals.
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Rick Soni:
The CNS products we licensed in from a company called Revaax.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So that the policy then within Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, the business model is to both develop your own molecules as well as in-license those molecules?
Rick Soni:
Yes, that's correct Fintan Walton.
Fintan Walton:
And then where do you want to take these molecules? How far do you want to take these molecules, what is the " the type of business model that you've adopted?
Rick Soni:
Right. We are looking to take them through Phase II trials.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Rick Soni:
And then we want to form partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Rick Soni:
As you know Phase III trials are very expensive trials, and for a company of our size it's very helpful that we have a partner to conduct the Phase III trials.
Partnering with Big Pharma and Rexahn Pharmaceuticals's current partnership with Teva.
Fintan Walton:
Right. Okay. So the other thing that's happened recently is that you've announced a your " a deal with Teva [PharmaDeals ID = 33552], you want to tell us why Teva and what is that -- the form of the deal?
Rick Soni:
Yeah. As I said we have a very robust preclinical pipeline. When we started talking with the big pharma about our Phase II products many of them looked at our pre clinical pipeline and they showed interest in that as well. So from our company perspective it was a great opportunity, we negotiated with several companies and we felt Teva was the right partner for this particular molecule. This is, this is ---
Fintan Walton:
It isRX-3117.
Rick Soni:
RX-3117, it's a small molecules available intravenously as well as orally. So the delivery is very attractive to potential partners such as Teva.
Rick Soni:
well Teva, is an interesting company, because obviously it is more famous for generics but this is a " this is a patented innovative product just coming through?
Rick Soni:
Right, right.
Rick Soni:
So this is part of " Teva's overall a change in strategy?
Rick Soni:
Yeah, Teva over the last few years actually has moved into the ethical drugs as well. And actually significant part of their business is ethical business, granded[ph] pharmaceuticals, they currently have a drug for Parkinson's that's out there and " they are focused on oncology and CNS now. So they are trying to build their pipeline in oncology, and inRX-3117 they saw potential " potentially a block buster. And we had a licensing discussion over several months and finally it culminated recently, actually today we " they made a press release announcing the, the partnership.
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Rick Soni:
Yeah.
Fintan Walton:
Now the thing here is obviously the deal, because the deal includes an equity stake in, in your company?
Rick Soni:
Yes, they have taken equity stake worth $3.5 millions, also over the next 12-months potentially they may take additional equity stake in the company.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. As the, as the program develops? is that part of the deal?
Rick Soni:
That's part of the deal. Also we are eligible for milestones worth 100's of millions of dollars as the product moves from preclinical all the way to commercialization.
Fintan Walton:
And any indication on the size of royalty rate?
Rick Soni:
Royalty rates are typical of our preclinical oncology candidate.
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Rick Soni:
Yeah.
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals's plans for the future.
Fintan Walton:
That's very good. So, so clearly then for a company like Rexahn Pharmaceuticals partnerships are important and you've described that as your business model, Where does take that Rexahn Pharmaceuticals going into the future, because you know clearly you are " as you said you take your products up to Phase II clinical trials and you look for partnerships"
Rick Soni:
Right.
Fintan Walton:
So what do you see, how do you see Rexahn Pharmaceuticals developing as a company over the next say 5, 10-years?
Rick Soni:
Okay. Our strength is discovery. We have some very brilliant scientists working at Rexahn Pharmaceuticals. And, so that's what we want to leverage for our shareholders in the near-term. So, so as the products move to Phase II or any of the preclinical candidates that big pharma shows interest in we are willing to form partnerships, with some of those candidates we will retain some co-promotion rights. So, so down the road 5, 10-years down the road, we may choose to become a specialty pharma, pharma company.
Fintan Walton:
Right. So you describe yourselves more as an emerging, emerging specialty pharmaceutical company?
Rick Soni:
Right. Yeah, yeah. That's correct. Yeah.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Rick Soni, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show. Thank you.
Rick Soni:
Thank you Fintan Walton.
Rick Soni
President and COO
Rick Soni joined Rexahn Pharmaceuticals in 2008 with over 20 years of sales, marketing, product planning and business development experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Rick held several leadership roles at Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc, with responsibility for commercial development, corporate strategy and execution of licensing and acquisition of therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. Previously, Rick has held a variety of management positions at Novartis and Schering-Plough. Rick Soni has a BS from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals
Rexahn Pharmaceuticalsis a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments for cancer, central nervous system -CNS- disorders and other unmet medical needs. Its motto, "Saving Lives Through Innovation," represents the Company's use of scientific innovation to improve the health and wellness of patients. Rexahn Pharmaceuticals develops therapies that treat specific disease states, while minimizing side effects in order to help patients regain quality of life during treatment. Rexahn Pharmaceuticals currently has three clinical stage drug candidates: ArchexinTM, SerdaxinTM andZoraxelTM. Further, Rexahn Pharmaceuticalsleverages proprietary nanomedicine research and multi-target aimed ligands platform to strengthen its preclinical pipeline, and develop cancer drugs that offer greater therapeutic benefits and quality of life for patients. Rexahn Pharmaceuticals is based in Rockville, Maryland and is currently traded on the NYSE Amex under the symbol RNN.