The Island Pharma (ASX:ILA) share price lifts on key US patent milestone

The Island Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: ILA) share price opened 14% higher today after achieving a key patent for its lead asset.

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The Island Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: ILA) share price opened 14% higher at 39 cents this morning after the company was granted a key patent for its lead asset, ILA-101.

Its shares have retreated since that high and are trading at 35 cents at the time of writing, up 3%. 

Island Pharma is a drug research company that develops preventative or therapeutic drugs for viral infections. The company is currently advancing its lead drug candidate “ISLA-101” towards a Phase 2 clinical trial in dengue infected subjects. ISLA-101 has the potential to be used to prevent or treat a number of viruses including dengue, Zika and chikungunya, and other diseases rife in tropical climates. 

Grant of US patent drives the Island Pharma share price 

In today’s release, Island Pharma advised that a key patent for its lead asset, ISLA-101 was granted by the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The patent will underpin Island Pharma’s drug repurposing strategy to rapidly and efficiently develop antiviral therapies with a focus on mosquito-borne viral diseases. 

Pharma Island executive chair Dr Paul MacLeman welcomed the progress, saying: 

The grant of the US patent is a significant development for Island Pharmaceuticals. Mosquito borne viruses, such as dengue, Zika and others represent major unmet medical needs throughout the world and about 3 billion people – or 40% of the world’s population – live in areas with a risk of dengue.

Having an allowed patent that protects Island’s lead program in this large market provides protection for the development of ISLA-101 and further underpins our ability to advance the program in the US – a key target market.

The Island Pharma share price so far 

It is becoming increasingly common for initial public offerings on the ASX to surge on the first day of listing before grinding lower in the coming weeks and months. Some notable recent examples include 4DMedical Ltd (ASX: 4DX)Credit Clear Ltd (ASX: CCR) and DC Two Ltd (ASX: DC2)

The Island Pharma share price has met with a similar fate, at a listing price of 25 cents, its shares surged as high as 67 cents on its first day of listing on April 13. A neat return 268% return for those that managed to participate in the IPO and sell at highs. Despite the intraday surge, its shares closed at 50 cents on the first day.

Its shares have steadily pushed lower, closing at a record low of 34 cents on Tuesday.

What’s next for Island Pharma 

The key milestones for the company to achieve revenues and profitability as stated in its prospectus are obtaining FDA approval and commencing sales for ISLA-101. 

Its prospectus advises that the timeframe to meet the approval and sales milestones are contingent on a number of factors. These include the timeframe to enrol and conduct clinical trials, preparation and submission of regulatory documents, regulatory review and launch of sales efforts.

The company is currently advancing ISLA-101 towards a Phase 2 clinical trial which will then require a Phase 3 clinical trial and drug registration.

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Motley Fool contributor Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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