Cellmid (ASX:CDY) has marked a major boost in the development of its hair growth asset portfolio with the grant of a Japanese patent covering shampoos, conditioners, creams and lotions until 2031.
The patent protects the use of midkine and the closely related protein pleiotrophin for use as hair loss and/or hair growth treatments.
Midkine is a protein that is emerging as an important new target for drug development in the treatment of a number of diseases.
It also modulates many biological interactions such as cell growth, cell migration and cellular adherence.
The new patent is the third member of Cellmid’s midkine patent family for hair growth to be accepted, following the granting of the UK and Australian patents.
Other patents are filed or are under examination in the U.S., Europe, China, Hong Kong and Korea.
This patent family adds to the already considerable intellectual property assets of Cellmid’s wholly owned anti-aging hair growth subsidiary, Advangen, which includes patent protection and extensive knowhow around its FGF5 inhibiting technologies, cell based assays, formulations and brands.
FGF5 is a protein associated with hair loss.
Advangen’s products are on sale in Australia and Japan, closely followed by Taiwan and China.
New traction in expanding markets for midkine hair treatment methods has followed quickly on significant financial momentum for Cellmid.
Last month, the company reported record cash receipts from customers of over $1 million for 1Q2016. Compared with the same period last year, receipts were up 320%.
Strong sales also exceeded internal projections reaching $713,000 for the quarter (up from $180,000 same period last year). This was especially pleasing as the pharmacy distribution, a precursor to sales, is rapidly growing towards the target 2,000 stores in Australia.
Cellmid reported cash at the end of September of A$4.4 million, representing about a 175% increase over cash and cash equivalents at the end of June of $1.6 million.
This improvement followed a $4 million capital raising via an oversubscribed share placement aimed at supporting sales initiatives targeting medical professionals and pharmacies as well as an advertising program with multiple channels.
The new Japanese patent illustrates that Cellmid is set to take a leading role in the rapidly growing market for hair growth and anti-aging hair care technologies.
Anti-aging is one of the fastest growing segments of the $90 billion annual hair care market.
Hair loss, caused by age and androgenic factors, is a condition that affects around 30% of women and 50% of men over 40.
The dearth of effective products that prevent hair loss and regenerate resting hair follicles, therefore, establishes a significant first-mover opportunity for Cellmid as it increases exposure for its products in this field.
The patent adds to the fast growing intellectual property assets of wholly owned anti-aging hair growth subsidiary, Advangen Limited, accretive to Cellmid shareholder value.
Cellmid’s 175% jump in cash holdings over the three months to September is expected to underpin increased marketing and advertising efforts as the company’s products continue to penetrate new markets.
Cellmid is the first and still the only company globally with an FGF5 inhibitor hair loss product. FGF5 inhibition represents the only novel science in topical hair loss treatments for 30 years.
The company’s dramatic 320% year-on-year increase in sales receipts and its strong investor support in the form of an oversubscribed $4 million placement have signalled important progress in business development.
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