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Oxford BioDynamics HY results Webinar: Solid foundations in place for future growth

Oxford Biodynamics PLC is a global biotechnology company leading the world in the study and commercialisation of Epigenetics, the 3D analysis of the genome. The company is listed on the AIM market and has a market cap of £25m.

Following the publication of the half year results on 18 June, CEO Jon Burrows  was joined by Chair Matthew Wakefield, CFO Paul Stockdale and CSO Sasha Akoulichev and provided an update on corporate performance, the company strategy and the opportunities that lie ahead. A recording of the webinar is available here.

The webinar started with some personal reflections from Jon about his experiences with cancer from relatives and close friends and how this had shaped his interest in this area of science and the impact it can have  from an early age. In Oxford Biodynamics he has found a company that has a technology that is by far the best in its field  and can make a real difference to health outcomes. This drives his passion and belief in what he is doing and the company focus to make the Episwitch technology widely available and ultimately to save lives.

OBD has two products currently on the market; the CiRT and the PSE test as well as a pipeline of products that can be partnered with other pharma and health companies in order to bring them to market. In Jon’s view the portfolio of products means OBD could be considered a mini Foundation Medicine or Roche Diagnostics.

Since the company last reported in January 2024 a lot of progress has been made and solid foundations established which leave the company well placed for future growth. The number of PSE tests have continued to grow in Q1 and Q2 and the top down approach to getting greater adoption of CiRT is gaining traction. Discussions are continuing with multiple parties interested in partnering on the Scooby (canine cancer) test and the Colorectal test and the company is confident something will materialise on this later in the year. Finally, CiRT has been recognised by the UK government in its call for a cancer immunotherapy response solution and the company is in the final stages of the selection process for a grant which is worth up to £9m in total to the winning consortium with £4m spent in the first year. If successful work would start in August 2024.

Looking more closely at the PSE test, in a comparison with 10 other tests currently on the market, no other test comes close to what PSE can offer in terms of accuracy, positive predictive value and specificity. The PSE can accurately detect cancer and spares men from unnecessary and unpleasant biopsies. Since launch 454 tests have been undertaken  to date and there has been growth every quarter. In terms of test orders per working day this has increased from 1.84 in Q4 2023 to 2.57 in Q1 2024 and 3.25 estimated in Q2 2024.

In Q1 there were 15 concierge clinics ordering and in Q2 this had increased to 30. Seven of these  concierge medical groups have signed multiuse contracts which have price and volume incentives. Forum Health is a recently signed up group with  40 clinics and OBD’s team will visit each individual clinic (virtually or in person) to educate them on the use of the PSE test,  improve adoption rates and ensure that each clinic is onboarded properly. A lot of these clinics have 50-100 men that need the test and the PSE can be used to get a baseline reading which is where the company is pushing. At the same time the company is looking for regional and national distribution partners for the PSE test. Discussions are ongoing with AnyLabTestNow which has over 230 locations in the southwest and national distribution partners  who  have the national infrastructure to do blood testing, often imbedding their clinics in large health systems around the country. One large national distributor, currently selling two competitor prostate cancer tests, recently approached the company wanting to know more about the “94 percent test” as they were receiving customer complaints on the current tests they offered.

Dr Garrett Pohlman, a leading cancer urologist and host of the Prostate Health Podcast, is using the test and evangelising about its benefits to interested physicians. He is championing its use as a screening and baseline test for men over the age of 45 and a test prior to an MRI or biopsy. Finally in the UK the London Clinic and Goodbody have signed agreements to use the test and a distributor in Turkey has also been engaged. The UK lab is also now online and can process PSE tests in the UK. Combined these measures will help the company grow significant revenues from the PSE test in the second half of the year. The target for PSE tests is 1000/month. By the end of the year 100’s of tests per month are expected and if a regional or national distribution partner are brought on board those test numbers should accelerate to higher levels.

The second test on the market, the Checkpoint Inhibitor Response Test (CiRT),  can predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors prior to and during therapy. Again this test has  high accuracy, specificity and sensitivity. Test orders averaged 2.16/day in the first quarter and are expected to rise to between 2.43 and 2.71/day during the second quarter. Current orders are running at 3-5/day and growth is expected to continue over the coming quarters.

The top down approach has involved engaging with CMO’s at regional healthcare systems and initiating a prospective observational Registry Study to capture real-world data on health economics and patient outcomes so that the CiRT can be included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)  guidelines. The first regional healthcare system has been onboarded and has started to order tests and 3 more will onboard in Q3. More CMO’s are also currently engaging with the company. Revenue is generated through test orders via insurers as normal. A recently refreshed field sales team is newly incentivised to sell more CiRT’s and is engaging with clinics to increase their orders so that they can also be included as part of this study.

Finally onto the product pipeline where there are a number of tests ready for partnering. The Colorectal test and the ScB Test (canine cancer) have had a lot of interest and discussions have moved onto the detail stage. Any deal would probably include  multiple parts and include  an upfront fee, milestones payments and a royalty.

The Colorectal Test (NoStoolTest) is better than the market leading test and can be used for the early detection of polyps (83% accurate) and early stage cancer detection which is key in this area. In the detection of Adenos polyps, the NST sensitivity is 89% and the PPV is 89% both class leading and superior to other available tests. In the detection of early stage cancer the sensitivity is 96% and the PPV 87%, again both ahead of other tests currently on the market.

The Episwitch SCB test is a highly accurate blood test for the detection of Canine cancers. It has a balanced accuracy across 6 of the most common cancers of 89%. The test can be run in the CLIA facility in Maryland and has been soft launched in beta testing veterinary clinics in Maryland and Colorado. In comparison with other tests it is better on most metrics and while a $1500 price tag may seem expensive, owners indicate they will pay whatever it takes to treat their dogs and the cost compares very favourably to other tests without some of the inherent problems with these existing  tests. OBD is actively talking to potential partners and discussions are progressing well.

In summary, the steps that have been taken across the PSE test and CiRT have laid solid foundations that will help drive the company towards breakeven. The company is now seeing signs  that both these tests are going to do very well. Potential partnering deals for products in the pipeline would bring in additional non-dilutive funding.

A recording of the webinar is available here.

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