Spinifex Pharmaceuticals conducts preclinical and early-phase clinical studies on new drug candidates for the treatment and management of pain.
Based in Melbourne, Spinifex is a clinical stage private, venture capital backed company established in June 2005 to discover and develop new drug candidates for the treatment and management of pain. Spinifex’s lead product has recently demonstrated its potential in a Phase 2 clinical trial, showing a significant and clinically meaningful reduction in pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia, a debilitating condition that can follow shingles.
Focus on Pain
Spinifex focuses on pain because it is an area of high unmet medical need. Demand for pain drugs continues to increase, fuelling the growth of a market that is expected to be worth over US$35 billion by 2017(1). Neuropathic pain, where Spinifex is active, is estimated to have affected over 6 million patients worldwide in 2010(2) and is currently poorly treated. Neuropathic pain refers to a group of chronic painful conditions where the underlying cause is due to nerve dysfunction triggered by a variety of factors including viruses, diabetes, trauma and chemotherapy. This contrasts with inflammatory pain, for example, where the underlying nerves are healthy and accurately sense tissue damage in a joint or muscle.
Neuropathic pain can be debilitating and a significant opportunity exists for new candidates that can deliver improved efficacy, side effect profiles, time to onset and simplified dosing. EMA401, Spinifex’s lead clinical candidate, is being developed to address this unmet need.
Focus on Discovery and Development
Spinifex's expertise lies in the discovery and development of pain drugs. Spinifex conducts medicinal chemistry/drug discovery activities, preclinical and early-phase clinical studies before actively seeking a partnership with a major pharmaceutical company to complete clinical development, file for regulatory approval, and carry out marketing activities.
Spinifex believes that these core activities of drug discovery, preclinical and initial clinical development are the stages in the drug development process that provide a significant potential return to shareholders. This allows us to operate with a focused team with expertise in medicinal chemistry, product development, co-ordinating the management of clinical studies and the outsourcing of various specialised tasks.
The core Spinifex team is based in Melbourne and is complemented by US and European based consultants, with the Scientific Advisory Board based predominantly in the UK.
Spinifex is backed by a syndicate of experienced life science investors including GBS Venture Partners, Brandon Capital Partners, Uniseed and UniQuest. Founded in 2005, Spinifex raised an initial AU$3.25 million in Series A fundraising and announced a AU$12 million Series B funding raising in 2008 to support the further development of EMA401. This round was expanded in 2011 with Spinifex receiving an additional AU$6.25 million to broaden the Phase 2 clinical program for EMA401 to new indications in neuropathic pain. Spinifex has a strong portfolio of intellectual property around its lead compound EMA01, follow on candidates and the use of AT2 receptor antagonists to treat both neuropathic & inflammatory pain and restore nerve conduction velocity deficits, including granted US, Japanese, Chinese, Australian and New Zealand patents.
(1) GBI Research. Pain Management Therapeutics Market to 2017 – Price Competition to Intensify Following Patent Expiries of Lyrica and Cymbalta (November 2011).
(2) Nature Reviews Drug Discovery Feb 2012, The Neuropathic Pain Market, vol. 11, pp. 101-2.
Latest News & Events
27TH MARCH 2013 Spinifex Receives $1.5m in R&D Tax Incentive for Research Activities Related to the Discovery of ... More
30TH JANUARY 2013 Pivotal EMA401 mechanism of action data has now been published in the European Journal of ... More
10TH DECEMBER 2012 Spinifex Initiates Phase 2 Proof-Of-Concept Clinical Trial in Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy ... More