Seasoned Cambridge market watchers are used to seeing companies in the technology sector pivot – sometimes pirouette.
Life science plays in the UK cluster prefer to transition – and few have managed it as successfully as Vectura, whose delivery devices division is anchored at Cambridge Science Park.
The company has made great strides in recent months in what chief executive Dr Chris Blackwell calls “our transition towards creating a leading specialty pharmaceutical company focused on airways disease.”
The cash-rich company has particularly high hopes for VR506 – an inhaled corticosteroid treatment in development for asthma.
Dr Blackwell said: “We have made excellent progress with our generic programmes and now have the support of our existing partner for VR315 (a combination therapy for asthma/COPD) in the US to help us bring VR506 to the market in an expeditious manner.
“With our strong cash balance and our new royalty revenues, along with the royalties received from the excellent progress of SeebriBreezhaler and Ultibro Breezhaler, Vectura is well positioned to continue its transition.”
Vectura recently confirmed its robust financial position, with a cash balance of £81.7m and a positive EBITDA of £5.2m.
On June 30, it reported that it had signed a development and license agreement for the US rights to VR506, Vectura’s clinical stage asthma monotherapy product delivered using Vectura’s proprietary technology.
The agreement for VR506 is with Vectura's existing, undisclosed US partner for VR315. Under the terms of this agreement, Vectura's partner will be responsible for the commercialisation and manufacture of the product together with clinical development.
Vectura will provide support for the US development of VR506, for which it will receive an initial payment of $4 million and up to $8m on achievement of pre-determined development milestones. Further development fees may be payable if the programme progresses beyond a pre-defined milestone. In addition, Vectura will receive a royalty from all VR506 US sales.