Norwegian biotech newcomer Nordic Nanovectorwhich seeks ways to treat blood-related cancers, says other companies are showing interest in buying the firm.
“We talk a lot with companies, and as the data improves and the company develops, the more interest we have, that’s for sure,” chief executive officer Luigi Costa told Reuters.
While Nanovector may eventually be bought, it could also launch drugs independently or through partnership, Costa said, adding the firm will be “opportunistic about this”.
Nanovector is currently preparing a final test phase for its Betalutin drug candidate, a treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) designed to attach itself to tumors in a novel way before killing them with a dose of radiation.
If successful, the drug will be filed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in two years’ time. The company says it can have a final product on the market by the end of 2019.
In December, Nanovector presented data showing positive effects of Betalutin in patients and, in a separate study on mice, promising results when combined with Rituximab, also known as Rituxan, a drug sold by Roche and Biogen .
“Rituximab has been the standard care for years … but is now off patent so there is increasing competition for the development of additional products,” Costa said.
Brokerage ABG Sundal Collier recently gave a 55 percent probability that Betalutin will eventually launch. It rated the share, currently around 95 crowns, a buy with a price target of 142 Norwegian crowns.
After a tenfold rise in its shares during 2016, Nanovector in December raised 500 million Norwegian crowns ($60 million) in new equity to expand and develop its nascent portfolio.
Last October it signed two research and development deals with South Korea’s Legochem and Heidelberg Pharma, a unit of Germany’s Wilex AG to explore treatments of leukemias.