In less than a month’s time we should be getting an update on current year progress at Futura Medical (LON:FUM). On Wednesday 10th April this ‘virtual’ company will be announcing its results to the end of 2018 and will undoubtedly bring us up to date on what is happening to a number of its products in development.
This pharmaceutical company is working on a portfolio of innovative products for two very large markets – sexual health and pain relief. It is an expert in transdermal delivery (transdermal medications are absorbed through the skin or mucosal membranes instead of by oral or injectable routes and are intended to have an effect in areas of the body away from the site of application). The company has developed an advanced proprietary transdermal technology, DermaSys.
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Erectile dysfunction affects around 50% of men between 40 and 70 years old. Futura is currently developing a topical gel product, as a new therapeutic approach for the condition. ED is an indicator of other serious conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, making discussions about the condition itself and the availability of efficacious and practical treatments for erectile dysfunction even more important.
The speed of onset of action with this gel is rapid, with an onset of action within five minutes in 44% of intercourse attempts and within 10 minutes in almost 70%, offering the potential to be the world’s fastest-acting treatment for ED.
The ongoing European Phase III trial for its MED2005 product aims to evaluate the efficacy of the drug, as well as focusing more closely on measuring time of onset and duration of action by using a range of parameters. Futura Medical is optimistic about the outcome of this trial; it expects results to be published at the end of 2019 and for regulatory filings to follow in the second half of 2020.
Meanwhile, CSD500 is a condom developed for use by healthy men. The product incorporates a unique erectogenic gel to help men maintain a firmer erection during intercourse whilst wearing a condom. Its gel product contains a low dose of Glyceryl Trinitrate located in the teat of a standard latex condom which is absorbed through the penis when the condom is used. To date this gel has been clinically proven to provide a firmer erection, maximise the natural size of an erection and enable a longer lasting sexual experience.
Pain is the most common symptom that prompts people to seek medical care, but its effective management remains inadequate, particularly for chronic pain.On the pain relief side, Futura is developing three specific products: TPR100, which is a gel to provide topical pain relief, incorporates a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac and utilises Futura’s DermaSys technology; TIB200, which is a gel to provide topical pain relief, incorporates a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen and also utilises DermaSys; and finally, SPR300 is a topical gel combining methyl salicylate and menthol with the DermaSysdelivery system, which has been shown to achieve in excess of four times higher penetration through isolated human skin compared with the UK’s best-selling topically applied methyl salicylate/menthol-based topical pain relief product, Deep Heat.
The £31m AIM-listed, Guildford-based company employs only a dozen people but has 30 consultants as outsourced expertise. As with the majority of companies in the pharma sector the company is a long-term loss-maker, losing some £19m over the last four years. Next month’s results will probably show another £7m in the red for 2018 and as much as £9m loss in this current year is estimated.
As and when Futura advances its trials to their ultimate conclusion it will then partner up with a major, which is when the funds start flowing the other way. Its shares, which have been as high as 101p some seven years ago, fell to a 6p low at the end of 2018. They are now trading at around the 15p level, at which point a small ‘tuck-away’ speculation could well pay handsomely when a burst of good news items gains the shares some attention. Then I would expect them to rise firmly.