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ValiRx strikes deal with Ambrose Healthcare to license late-stage cancer treatment

5 Dec 2023


ValiRx Plc, a life science company focusing on cancer therapeutics and women's health, has announced that ValiRx subsidiary, ValiSeek Ltd, has entered into an exclusive option agreement to license VAL401 with Ambrose Healthcare Ltd, a private UK specialist pharmaceutical company.

Ambrose Healthcare is seeking to develop new treatments for rare diseases and patients managed in hospitals and specialist care. The company, incorporated in 2022, has an internationally experienced leadership team with deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry.

VAL401 is the reformulation of the established anti-psychotic drug risperidone. Formulated into a lipid-filled capsule for oral, once daily administration, VAL401 enables an anti-cancer activity, via the cancer cell metabolism enzyme, Hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenase type 10 (HSD10), not seen with conventional risperidone.

VAL401 has completed a pilot Phase 2 clinical trial, treating patients with end-stage non-small cell lung cancer. These patients demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in overall survival from diagnosis over case-matched control patients in the same clinics and showed improvements in quality of life during treatment.

Under the option agreement, Ambrose Healthcare has a 12-month period of exclusivity under which it may exercise the option to execute a global, exclusive license of ValiSeek's VAL401 asset under pre-agreed terms.

ValiSeek has received an undisclosed, small fee, settled through the issue of shares in Ambrose Healthcare. Subject to the exercise of the option by Ambrose Healthcare, the agreement details clinical and commercial milestone payments to be made to ValiSeek totalling a value of up to £16 million plus royalties.

Under the licensing terms, Ambrose Healthcare commits to completing development and commercialisation of VAL401 at Ambrose's cost.

Dr Suzy Dilly, CEO of ValiRx, comments: "I'm delighted to have agreed this path to development of VAL401 with Ambrose Healthcare. I'm looking forward to seeing the project develop under Ambrose Healthcare's experienced oversight, combining clinical development and commercial experience."

Toby Wilson Waterworth, CEO of Ambrose Healthcare, says: "We are excited to build on ValiRx's initial clinical development to bring a much-needed new treatment option to late-stage cancer patients. VAL401 has a strong safety and clinical profile, and a novel delivery formulation. It is a good fit for the rare disease product portfolio that Ambrose is developing."

Image depicts Suzy Dilly, CEO of ValiRx