Redx returns to the Stock Market and continues its development of lifesaving drugs

In May the company, which last year relocated from Liverpool to Cheshire, was pushed into administration after Liverpool Council demanded repayment of a £2m loan. Tony McDonough reports

Redx Pharma is developing treatments for cancer and bowel disease. Stock picture

 

Redx Pharma returned to the stock market at 12 noon on Monday almost six months since it was forced into administration.

The company, which collapsed in May amid a dispute with Liverpool City Council over a £2m unpaid loan, can now also continue its potential lifesaving development of drugs used to treat cancer and bowel disease.

The council pushed the firm, which last year relocated from Liverpool city centre to Cheshire, into administration in May over its failure to repay a £2m loan.

The authority loaned Redx the money in 2012 to support its expansion in the city. It later offered a two-year repayment extension but claimed in May the company had made no effort to repay.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he had a “duty” to protect public money.

The move angered directors of the firm which has been developing lifesaving inhibitor treatments for pancreatic, gastric and biliary cancer.

Administrators FRP Advisory said shortly after the administration that it would “seek to realise assets in the interests of creditors”.

It has since the secured the sale of a pre-clinical cancer treatment to US-based biotech Loxo Oncology for £30m. This will allow Redx to pay its creditors, including Liverpool Council, and keep its drug development operations funded until early 2019.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange on Monday, Redx said it now had £13.6m of cash with no liabilities nor loan facilities (outside of those necessary for the normal course of business), and a reduced cost base.

Phase I trials on a new cancer drug are due to begin next year which could represent a huge commercial opportunity for the firm.

Another drug in development specifically targeting inflammatory bowel disease-related fibrosis offers an estimated market of around 3m patients.

However, one casualty of the last few months has been Dr Neil Murray, one of the co-founders of Redx who has now departed. A search for a new CEO has begun.

Dr Neil Murray has departed as CEO of biotech firm Redx Pharma

 

Now the firm has the task on winning back the confidence of investors. Executive chairman Iain Ross said on Monday: “The strong research base has yielded a pipeline that is now focused on developing first or best in class drugs to validated targets in cancer and fibrosis where there remain significant unmet medical needs.

“We look forward to entering the clinic with our lead cancer compound in the first quarter of 2018 having recently received the necessary approvals for our trial design.

“Our aim is to progress our pipeline candidates, where warranted, to clinical proof of concept in order to build significant shareholder value.”

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