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Australian biotechnology company, Novogen has announced that it will change its name to Kazia Therapeutics and that it will consolidate its share register, after the overwhelming majority of shareholders voted in favour of the proposed changes at the company's AGM held in Sydney last week.
Commenting on the transformation, CEO, Dr James Garner said: "When Novogen was established over 23 years ago it had a completely different focus to the oncology drug development company that it is now. We've been through a concerted transformation process over the past two years. We've almost totally changed our portfolio of drug development assets, have what is largely an all new team and we feel like a different company. Our new brand, Kazia Therapeutics, better represents our business model, strategic intent and values, and is reflective of the innovative, focused and agile company that we have become."
The word 'Kazia' is derived from 'Kaizen', a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices and personal efficiency. Read more about the Kazia Therapeutics brand.
Over the past 18 months, Kazia has executed changes to its Research and Development portfolio, which now includes two clinical-stage assets, as well as changes to its personnel, organisational culture and the way it does business. The company’s new operating model sees it partner with big pharma to bring undervalued drugs to market more efficiently – a win for both industry and patients in need.
Dr Garner also noted that the share consolidation was important to the company's transformation, "We have heard consistently from US investors that it is difficult to invest in a company with so many outstanding shares on issue. Combined with what has been a recently lower share price, it can mean we are lumped in the 'penny dreadful' category and are therefore open to speculative trading. The consolidation is important to improving the way Kazia is viewed externally by both investors and potential partners, as we market our drugs on the world stage."
Cantrixil is a locally developed, first-in-class candidate which targets the entire spectrum of cancer cells, including tumour-initiating cells thought to cause cancer recurrence. A Phase 1 clinical trial of Cantrixil is underway with results expected to be released in 2018. Read more about the Cantrixil trial.
Kazia in-licensed GDC-0084 from Genentech in 2016 after a Phase 1 trial returned promising results. A phase 2 trial will start in coming weeks. Read more about the GDC-0084 trial.
Last week, Kazia announced its plans to establish an entity in China to facilitate greater opportunities in the Asia region, as well as a move to out-license some of its preclinical assets to the biotech start-up Heaton-Brown Life Sciences.
"I'm immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past 18 months, but we’re really just now at the starting blocks" Dr Garner said.
For more info on the name change, new ASX and NASDAQ stock tickers and trading through the consolidation period, please visit our info for shareholders, here.
Kazia Therapeutics Limited, formerly Novogen Limited is an agile oncology-focused biotechnology company, based in Sydney, Australia. We have two clinical staged drug development candidates and an early stage discovery program, across a range of oncology indications.
Our lead program is GDC-0084, a small molecule inhibitor of the PI3K / AKT / mTOR pathway, which is being developed to treat glioblastoma multiforme, the primary and most aggressive form of brain cancer. Licensed from Genentech in late 2016, GDC-0084 is anticipated to enter Phase II clinical trials in 2017.
TRXE-002-1, or Cantrixil is Kazia's second drug development candidate under development as a treatment for ovarian cancer. The chemotherapeutic is currently undergoing a Phase I clinical trial in hospitals across Australia and the United States. Initial data on this trial is expected to be reported early in 2018.
Kazia Therapeutics is trading under the following tickers:
ASX: NRTDA until 27 November, NRT on 28 November and then KZA thereafter
Nasdaq: NVGN until 24 November and then KZIA thereafter
For more information, please visit www.kaziatherapeutics.com.