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Algernon Pharmaceuticals' Ifenprodil Program: Maximizing Market Potential Through Strategic Opportun

Algernon Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company with a focus on developing and repurposing drugs for unmet medical needs. One of the company's key drug development programs is Ifenprodil, a novel first-in-class treatment for chronic cough, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Algernon Pharmaceuticals has engaged Maxim Group LLC to assist in identifying and evaluating potential M&A and strategic opportunities, including the potential spin-off of the Ifenprodil program.


Understanding Chronic Cough

Chronic cough is a common symptom that can significantly impact a patient's quality of life. It is defined as a cough lasting for more than eight weeks and can be caused by a variety of factors, including respiratory infections, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In some cases, chronic cough can be a standalone condition, known as refractory chronic cough (RCC), which is difficult to treat.

Algernon Pharmaceuticals' Ifenprodil program is a potential treatment for RCC that targets the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit 2B (GluN2B), which is involved in central signaling in the brain that suppresses the urge to cough. Ifenprodil is thought to interfere with this signaling, reducing the frequency and severity of coughing in patients with RCC.

Positive Phase 2a Study Results

Algernon Pharmaceuticals' decision to advance to a Phase 2b cough study was based on positive data previously reported from the Company's proof of concept Phase 2a study of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic cough. The study showed that Ifenprodil produced a significant reduction in cough count in patients with IPF, a condition in which cough is regarded as extremely difficult to treat.

Further analysis revealed that the geometric mean 24-hour cough counts were reduced by 32.0% at 4 weeks (p = 0.023) and 39.5% at 12 weeks (p = 0.001) compared to baseline. The geometric mean awake cough counts were reduced by 30.2% at 4 weeks (p = 0.038) and 37.4% at 12 weeks (p = 0.002) compared to baseline.

Market Potential for Chronic Cough Treatment

According to Data Bridge Market Research analyses, the global chronic cough market was valued at USD $6.15B in 2021 and is projected to grow up to USD $11.38B by 2029. The need for better therapies for chronic cough is evident in recent acquisitions of companies developing similar treatments. For example, Merck & Co. obtained the rights to gefapixant, a P2X3 receptor antagonist, as the lead asset in the acquisition of Afferent Pharmaceuticals in 2016 for up to USD $1.25 billion. Bellus Health, which is advancing camlipixant, its own novel P2X3 receptor antagonist, was acquired by GSK plc for USD $2 billion.

Maximizing the Value of the Ifenprodil Program

Algernon Pharmaceuticals' engagement of Maxim Group LLC to identify and evaluate potential M&A and strategic opportunities for the Ifenprodil program is a strategic move to maximize the program's value. The company is considering a potential spin-off of the program, similar to the examples of Afferent Pharmaceuticals and Bellus Health. Algernon Pharmaceuticals' CEO, Christopher J. Moreau, stated that the company is "especially interested in the potential to achieve significant value for our Ifenprodil asset and for our shareholders through a spin-off transaction."

Advisors to Algernon Pharmaceuticals' Chronic Cough Program

Algernon Pharmaceuticals has enlisted the help of two renowned advisors for its Ifenprodil program. Dr. Jacky Smith, a Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manchester and an Honorary Consultant at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, is the lead medical and scientific advisor to both Merck and Bellus Health for their RCC research programs. Dr. Peter Dicpinigaitis, a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, and Critical Care Medicine, is the founder and director of the Montefiore Cough Center, one of the few specialty centers in the world exclusively committed to the evaluation and management of patients with chronic cough.

About NP-120 (Ifenprodil)

Ifenprodil selectively inhibits N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors containing the NR2B subunit, which can diminish excitability of neurons and prevent the relaying of information along neuronal circuitry, including the cough reflex. Ifenprodil may also inhibit the neuroplastic enhancement of central and peripheral cough response neurons.

Algernon Pharmaceuticals' Other Drug Development Programs

Algernon Pharmaceuticals has active research programs for IPF with chronic cough and chronic kidney disease. The company is also the parent company of a newly created private subsidiary called Algernon NeuroScience, which is advancing a psychedelic program investigating a proprietary form of psychedelic DMT for stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Conclusion

Algernon Pharmaceuticals' engagement of Maxim Group LLC to explore potential M&A and strategic opportunities for the Ifenprodil program is a strategic move to maximize the program's value in the growing chronic cough market. The program's potential has been demonstrated by positive Phase 2a study results, and the need for better therapies for chronic cough is evident in recent acquisitions of companies developing similar treatments. Algernon Pharmaceuticals has enlisted the help of renowned advisors for its Ifenprodil program, and the company is also actively pursuing other drug development programs for unmet medical needs.

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