Danish biopharmaceutical company NeuroSearch is changing its business to handle production and sales of its first drug Huntexil, which is currently in phase III development, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. Huntexil is for the treatment of Huntington's disease, a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and cognitive functions. NeuroSearch expects the final approval of the drug to be given in about one year.
Carsten Lønborg Madsen, analyst at investment bank Carnegie comments: "It is a very interesting drug which has the potential to make a transformation of NeuroSearch, but one should not underestimate the risk in late stage studies of diseases in the central nervous system. There are still some obstacles that need to be cleared."
CEO of NeuroSearch Flemming Pedersen says that forecasts from analysts indicate the market value of Huntexil to be around DKK 5bn (USD 1bn). The company will need between 30 and 50 sales representatives to cover both the European and the US markets. Pedersen expects sales of the drug to quickly reach its maximum potential since doctors and patients are showing great interest in the drug.
Huntexil was adopted into the pipeline a few years ago in association with a company acquisition. When the final stages have been completed, NeuroSearch will have invested approx. DKK 500m (USD 100m) in the drug.
Headquartered in Ballerup on the outskirts of Copenhagen, NeuroSearch’s core business covers the development of novel drugs, based on a discovery platform focusing on ion channels and CNS disorders. A substantial share of the activities is partner-financed through strategic alliances with Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen Pharmaceutica and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and a license collaboration with Abbott. The company is listed on Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen and has approximately 220 employees.