XOMA's Management Presents at Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference (Transcript)
September 12, 2012 4:07 PM ET
XOMA Corporation (XOMA)
Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference
September 12, 2012 10:20 a.m. ET
Paul Rubin - Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer
Fred Kurland - Vice President-Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Good morning everyone. Welcome to the XOMA session. My name is [Igan Ekmovit] I am one of the biotech analysts at Morgan Stanley. And so just a few orders of business before we get started. All relevant research disclosures from Morgan Stanley can be found on our website or on our publicly printed notes. And secondarily, this is meant to be an absolutely open question-and-answer session, so feel free to raise your hand and interrupt at any point. We have microphones circulating around the room.
So welcome, Paul Rubin, CMO of XOMA, and Fred Kurland, CFO. Welcome to the session. Maybe we could start off, Paul, just give us a little bit of an overview of XOMA. What are the key priorities of the company at this point? Just flush out the story for those that are not familiar with the company.
Sure. First thank you for having us here. XOMA is a discovery based biotechnology company that, not surprisingly people know, has been around for quite a while. But during the time it’s been around it’s developed I think a very proprietary method which to discover monoclonal antibodies. It probably has some of the best libraries in the world plus our ability to interrogate receptors, especially through use of allosteric modulation I think is very unique. And at the day we should be able to determine potential monoclonals that could be differentiated from many other companies in the world.
Some of those include our lead candidate which is gevokizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody which is an allosteric binder to IL-1 beta, and then some other compounds a little further in the pipeline such as the XMet program which we might discuss a little later also. These are all monoclonal antibodies that bind to allosteric as opposed to orthostatic sites or the non-business end part of the molecule.
The company I think is making a concerted effort to get more value for its assets. So in fact as you are aware, we are developing gevokizumab in conjunction with our partner Servier on a global basis, initially for non-infectious uveitis which is our lead indication and is now in Phase 3 and will be on a worldwide basis. And then for a series of other indications that the development should occur in the next few years and we should get some good data on that product and then hopefully we will have a few other things as we go forward.
Got it. It’s a good overview. Maybe we could jump in then on the lead asset, gevokizumab. Give the investors some sense of comparative profile of your IL-1 data agent relative to what else is out there in the world. And I am thinking of things like (inaudible) and so forth.
Sure. I think that if you look at all the products that are on the market or in development for modulating IL-1 beta signaling, we are I think unique. We are the only compound, as I mentioned, that binds to a part of IL-1 beta where we can dramatically reduce the signal that occurs from IL-1 beta stimulating its receptors, we still allow interaction of IL-1 beta with its receptor. And what that does it enhances clearance of the molecule and it prevents the existence of circulating antibody like [complexes], which can be detrimental.
Our particular drug is the most potent of all those that are out there. And as a result of that it could be administered in a very small volume and we anticipate that will be less than 1 ml of fluid given once per month subcutaneously. It’s also quite stable which will allow us to ultimately have this available for self-administration. As far as I know it’s the only one that’s out there. And we have seen virtually no injection side reactions, which again, if you look at the label of the competitors, in no case are they devoid of injection side reactions. So that’s potentially another advantage.
So I think from it’s both physical and [chemical] characteristics and its potency and its ease of use, plus its mechanism, it’s clearly distinct from the other candidates or the drugs that are out there.
You mentioned the lead indication and you are in non-infectious uveitis, you have also seen some solid data in related form of that disease called the Behçet's. Could you discuss a bit some of the data there and whether the mechanism that you have described for your gevokizumab is special for that disease or if other INLINE-1 antibodies could potentially show efficacy in that setting.
That’s a good question. First of all, uveitis is a syndrome, not unlike asthma, in which there are multiple (inaudible), Behçet's uveitis being one. So in fact Behçet's isn’t related, it is not infectious uveitis, it’s just one of the forms. In all cases, independent of the underlying [mediology], it presents clinically in the same way. So all cases they end of with inflammation of the uvea, which is kind of the middle lining around the eye. And as a result of that inflammation, they end up with the same clinical signs and symptoms. And in fact in the United States, the FDA doesn’t discern between Behçet's uveitis and other forms. It’s all non-infectious uveitis.
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