Oxford Pharmascience Group Plc | Medicines made better



09 November 2016

R&D Update

Oxford Pharmascience Group plc (AIM: OXP), the specialty pharmaceutical company that redevelops medicines to make them better, safer and easier to take provides the following update on the development of its R&D pipeline.


As reported within the interim results, the Company continues commercialisation discussions for its lead assets, OXPzero™ Ibuprofen and OXPzero™ Naproxen. In parallel, the Company has focused its technical activities on advancing the OXPzero™ technology to affect and control release properties, scaling-up and optimising the manufacturing process and strengthening its intellectual property (IP) portfolio.

The Company has now completed preliminary laboratory work leading to the identification of OXPzero™ platform technical modifications that alter the release properties and enable faster release of the NSAID. As a result of this work, the company has just filed a national application for a new patent in the UK with international filings to be expanded over the next two years as the application progresses, significantly strengthening the IP portfolio for its OXPzero™ technology platform.

The Company will be now progressing to conduct UK based Phase I exploratory pharmacokinetic (PK) clinical studies to validate the in vivo performance of these technology improvements, focusing first on its lead compoundOXPzero™ Ibuprofen. The OXPzero™ Ibuprofen study will be split into three parts and will assess the PK profiles both at over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) strength doses of standard ibuprofen against OXPzero™Ibuprofen and the lead technology modifications identified. Regulatory and Ethics submissions have been made for this study and dosing is expected to start early in 2017. In addition, pre-clinical evaluation of these technology modifications is ongoing using an innovative gastric mucosal cell model at the University of Newcastle to assess the effect of these technology modifications on gastric mucosal damage.

In parallel to this technical and clinical work, the Company is seeking clarity on the regulatory pathway for OTC and Rx OXPzero™ NSAID products. The Company is now seeking advice from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the development pathway for the OTC and Rx OXPzero™ Ibuprofen programmes. Pre-IND meeting requests have been submitted to the FDA for both the OTC and Rx variants; the Company has assembled a team of highly-experienced US and EU consultants to assist with these meetings which are expected to take place early in 2017. Obtaining clarity from the FDA on the regulatory pathway will be a major milestone to further facilitate partnering discussions for the key US market.

Other programmes

While the focus has been OXPzero™ NSAIDs, the company also carried out development work to further its cardiovascular pipeline.

Following extensive process development work, OXPzero™ Aspirin has been successfully manufactured at laboratory scale. As the material produced by this process has not attained the required stability profile, a decision has been taken not to progress this programme further at this time

In our statins portfolio, development of a new colon-targeted formulation of atorvastatin is ongoing. The aim of this programme is to reduce the degree of cytochrome P450 metabolism in the upper GI tract, thereby reducing the formation of degradation products known to cause statin related side effects such as myalgia (muscle pain). A new formulation development and manufacturing contract facility has been appointed and development of a new salt form of atorvastatin with anticipated improved acid stability is ongoing.


Oxford Pharmascience remains well-funded to complete this next stage of work on clinical development and the regulatory pathway for its OXPzero™ products, as well as the development work on atorvastatin, with cash balances as at 31 October 2016 of circa £22.6 million.

Commenting on the progress, CEO Marcelo Bravo said:

"In parallel to the ongoing commercial partnering activities, we are pleased to see OXPzero™ Ibuprofen going back into the clinic and our OXPzero™ NSAIDs IP protection being strengthened. We look forward to receiving advice from the FDA on our over-the-counter and prescription OXPzero™ Ibuprofen product development strategies."

This announcement contains inside information.


For further information:

Oxford Pharmascience Group Plc  
Marcelo Bravo, Chief Executive +44 207 554 5875
N+1 Singer (Nominated Adviser & Broker)  
Aubrey Powell/Jen Boorer +44 20 7496 3000


About Oxford Pharmascience Group Plc

Oxford Pharmascience Group Plc uses a range of proprietary technology platforms to re-develop existing medicines to make them better, safer or easier to take. The Company does not manufacture or sell its own pharmaceutical products direct to consumers but instead seeks to license its technologies and dossiers to a network of partners, mainly leading pharmaceutical companies with Rx (prescription) and OTC (Over the Counter) branded portfolios.

Oxford Pharmascience Group Plc focuses on existing medicines that are proven to be safe and effective but nevertheless still have associated issues and side effects often affecting compliance. By working with such medicines the Company is able to develop new innovative products for a fraction of the cost, in much quicker timescales and without the high risk of failure associated with developing new drugs.

About OXPzero™ NSAIDs

Specifically, by comparison with generic NSAIDs, OXPzero™ Ibuprofen and OXPzero™ Naproxen are milder in the GI tract, delivering major reduction in severe GI mucosal damage, significantly mask the bitter taste/burn associated with NSAIDs, and deliver an attractive pharmacokinetic profile with adaptable drug release properties.