With The World In The Midst Of A Pandemic, Attention Turns To Life Sciences

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

In addition to causing chaos in markets and economies around the world, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has put the biotechnology and health care industries under the microscope.

Suddenly, hundreds of such companies are redirecting resources in an effort to find a vaccine or treatment that could potentially halt the virus’ spread. This has made the biotech space one of the few hot spots in a historically bad month for stocks.

The shelter-in-place orders in the U.S. and other countries have also made it difficult for many of these companies to communicate directly with investors. This is especially challenging for biotech companies, which are often more communicative with investors than companies in other industries. Expensive drug trial and capital raising cycles, make constant communication with investors essential, according to John Viglotti, senior vice president of corporate services and investor access at OTC Markets.

“They are faced with a constant need to raise capital to fund clinical trials, and these clinical trials are not stopping,” he said. “The life science business is certainly continuing.”

In an effort to bridge that gap between investors hungry for information and companies trying to reach them, OTC Markets is hosting the first Virtual Life Science Investor Forum on March 26. The online-only conference will consist of investor presentations from seven companies in five countries. Some will be giving updates on their COVID-19 treatments.

“Certainly with what’s going on with the coronavirus pandemic, it just makes it that much more relevant,” said Jason Paltrowitz, executive vice president of corporate services at OTC Markets. “The public at large is certainly interested in COVID-19, but from an investor perspective there are great opportunities.”

According to Viglotti, over 200 life sciences companies have previously participated in virtual investor conferences, making it one of the most popular sectors to participate in the conference series.

“It was really done with the realization that there are so many pre-revenue, early stage private life science companies that are just starved for attention,” Paltrowitz said of this week’s conference. “And we thought being able to host a series of virtual conferences would help.”

Below is the schedule for the conference. Each presentation is followed by a virtual Q&A session with attendees and is available on demand.

To learn more about attending Thursday’s conference, click here.

9:30 AM ET RedHill Biopharma Ltd. RDHL
: Guy Goldberg, Chief Business Officer
About: RedHill is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on gastrointestinal diseases. RedHill has commercial operations in the U.S., with a sales force promoting several gastrointestinal drugs across the U.S., including RedHill’s recently FDA approved drug, Talicia®. RedHill also has a robust development pipeline with several late-stage development programs which have successfully completed Phase 3 studies.

10:00 AM ET Nuvo Pharmaceuticals Inc. NRIFF
: Jesse Ledger, President & Chief Executive Officer, and Kelly Demerino, Interim Chief Financial Officer
About: Nuvo is a Canadian focused, healthcare company with global reach and a diversified portfolio of commercial products. The Company targets several therapeutic areas, including pain, allergy and dermatology. The Company's strategy is to in-license and acquire growth-oriented, complementary products for Canadian and international markets.

10:30 AM ET Orexo AB ORXOY
: Nikolaj Sørensen, President & CEO
About: Orexo develops improved pharmaceuti­cals and digital therapies addressing unmet needs mainly within the growing space of addiction. The products are commercialized by Orexo in the US or via partners worldwide. The main market today is the American market for buprenorphine/naloxone products, where Orexo commercializes its lead product Zubsolv® for treatment of opioid use disor­der.

11:00 AM ET Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. EMMA
: Dr. Yutaka Niihara, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Jay Sherwood
Chief Financial Officer

About: Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development, marketing and sale of innovative treatments and therapies, including those in the rare and orphan disease categories. Its FDA-approved Endari® (prescription grade L-glutamine oral powder) is indicated to reduce the acute complications of sickle cell disease in adult and pediatric patients five years of age and older.

11:30 AM ET Moleculin Biotech, Inc. MBRX
: Walter Klemp, Founder, President, CEO & Chairman
About: Moleculin Biotech, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of a broad portfolio of oncology drug candidates for the treatment of highly resistant tumors. The Company's clinical stage drugs are: Annamycin, a Next Generation Anthracycline, designed to avoid multidrug resistance mechanisms with little to no cardiotoxicity being studied for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia, more commonly referred to as AML, WP1066, an Immune/Transcription Modulator capable of inhibiting p-STAT3 and other oncogenic transcription factors while also stimulating a natural immune response, targeting brain tumors, pancreatic cancer and hematologic malignancies, and WP1220, an analog to WP1066, for the topical treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Moleculin is also engaged in preclinical development of additional drug candidates, including additional Immune/Transcription Modulators, as well as compounds capable of Metabolism/Glycosylation Inhibition.

12:00 PM ET Lexaria Bioscience Corp. LXRP
: Chris Bunka, CEO
About: Lexaria Bioscience Corp. is a global innovator in drug delivery platforms. Its patented DehydraTECH™ drug delivery technology changes the way API's enter the bloodstream, promoting healthier ingestion methods, lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness for lipophilic active molecules. DehydraTECH increases bio-absorption; reduces time of onset; and can reduce drug costs for orally administered bioactive molecules including nicotine, vitamins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other molecules. Lexaria has licensed DehydraTECH to multiple companies for use in various oral application formats, including to a world-leading tobacco producer for the development of smokeless, oral-based nicotine products. Lexaria operates a licensed in-house research laboratory and holds a robust intellectual property portfolio with 16 patents granted and over 60 patents pending worldwide.

12:30 PM ET Beroni Group Ltd. BNIGF
: Jacky Zhang, Chairman and CEO, and Peter Wong, Group CFO
About: Beroni Group is an international biotechnological company listed on the National Stock Exchange (Australia) with business presence in Australia, China, Japan and the USA. It currently has four core businesses - cell therapies, developing new anti-cancer drugs, e-commerce platform for pharmaceutical and healthcare products, and detection & diagnosis of infectious diseases.

To learn more about attending Thursday’s conference, click here.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

Posted In: CoronavirusCovid-19Jason PlatrowitzJohn Viglottiotc marketsVirtual Investor ConferencesVirtual Life Science Investor ForumNewsHealth CareMovers & ShakersSmall CapFDAEventsGlobalMarketsTrading IdeasETFsGeneral