Leading Ascelia Pharma through the Covid-19 period
Dear all, we live in uncertain and unsettling times. The global Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be a harsh, merciless affliction to individuals, companies, organisations and entire countries. Almost every minute, we receive news about the rapid spread of this disease, with a rapidly increasing number of victims.
As CEO of Ascelia Pharma, it is my responsibility to do my best to ensure that our community is safe and well. Together with my colleagues, I work meticulously to operate according to the regulations set by the authorities, and at the same time ensure that the company keeps on functioning in the same focused and determined manner as before.
Here is my perspective of where we as a company stand today:
- We have taken steps to minimise risk for the patients, our employees and their families, as well as our communities.
- Overall, Ascelia Pharma is in a solid financial situation with 184 MSEK in liquidity as of the beginning of 2020. We have a low cost base, with only 11 employees and the main cost driver being clinical trials. If there are operational delays due to Covid-19, our running expenses will thus be limited during this period.
- Our assets Mangoral and Oncoral are strong and fundamentally unchanged. There still is – and will be - a significant unmet medical need and attractive commercial opportunities for these projects.
- SPARKLE, our global pivotal phase 3 study with Mangoral, enrolled its first patient in February. Based on initial feedback from the hospitals, it is possible that Covid-19 will cause a delay compared to our original plan, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We will update you accordingly if and when there are changes to our previously communicated timeline.
- As the follow-up time of patients in the SPARKLE study is short, we are confident that the integrity of the study data will not be compromised due to this extraordinary situation.
- We are working diligently with the hospitals who are already in the study, as well as finalising agreements with more hospitals to start up. Our target is to include approximately 35 hospitals in the US, Europe and South Korea.
- To maximise our financial flexibility and operational progress, we are more than ever considering the necessity of all expenses to determine if they should be undertaken now or at a later point.
I firmly believe that Ascelia Pharma is in a strong position to execute our strategy, complete our development programs and bring Mangoral and Oncoral to market. In the meantime, we work as hard and diligently as possible, and hope - like everyone else - that we see the end of the Covid-19 pandemic sooner rather than later.
Magnus Corfitzen, CEO Ascelia Pharma
For more information, please contact:
Magnus Corfitzen, CEO
Tel. 46 735 179 110
Mikael Widell, IR & Communications Manager
Tel: +46 703 11 99 60
About Ascelia Pharma
Ascelia Pharma is an oncology-dedicated orphan drug development company located in Malmö, Sweden. The company’s strategy is to develop drugs, which target unmet medical needs, have an established mode of action and a relatively low development risk. Ascelia Pharma has two drug candidates – Mangoral® and Oncoral – currently under development.
Mangoral is a novel contrast agent for MR-scans in Phase III clinical studies. Mangoral is developed to improve the visualization of focal liver lesions (liver metastases) in patient with impaired kidneys that cannot tolerate current gadolinium contrast agents on the market. Oncoral is an oral chemotherapy tablet ready for Phase II for the treatment of gastric cancer. Ascelia Pharma is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (ticker: ACE). For more information, please visit www.ascelia.com.