MIDAS SHARING TIPS: Poolbeg Pharma Could Be an Exciting Opportunity


Between 2010 and 2020, pharmaceutical companies around the world spent more than £ 1.2 trillion trying to find new ways to cure disease.

Much of that money has been spent on finding treatments for cancer, diabetes, heart problems, and other increasingly common ailments of the modern age.

Now, however, attention is shifting to another area, infectious disease. Many of them have gone out of fashion in the research and development world, but the Covid19 pandemic has highlighted the devastation they can cause.

Safe: Poolbeg’s new drug could be used to treat flu – and possibly Covid too

The coronavirus is just one of many infectious diseases that cause inflammation, long-term side effects, and, at worst, death.

The flu, for example, affects one in eight people worldwide each year. Ten million of them are hospitalized and there are up to 500,000 deaths per year. Vaccines do their part, but they are not foolproof, with effectiveness as low as 10% in some cases.

As for treatment, Tamiflu is the best known drug on the market today. With sales exceeding £ 700million per year, Tamiflu can work wonders if caught early. But the pills become less effective after a few days, which is when severe symptoms tend to develop and people are rushed to the hospital.

Poolbeg Pharma hopes to solve this problem, with a product specifically aimed at severe cases of influenza and similar infectious diseases, potentially even Covid-19.

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market at 10p per share last month. The stock has since fallen to 9p, but is expected to rise significantly as the company progresses on the flu front and expands into other areas.

Poolbeg is chaired by Cathal Friel, the Irish entrepreneur, who co-founded Amryt Pharma in 2015 and created Open Orphan two years later. Amryt (recommended by Midas at the equivalent of £ 1.06 per share in 2017) is now valued at over £ 550million or £ 1.74 per share. Open Orphan is worth £ 140million with significant growth potential.

The Managing Director of Poolbeg is Jeremy Skillington, a trained biochemist who entered the world of commerce almost two decades ago. In 2016, he joined Inflazome, a biotech company founded the same year and sold to pharmaceutical giant Roche for at least $ 450million (£ 330million) just 11 months ago.

Friel and Skillington hope to bring their lucrative expertise to Poolbeg, while also finding cures for some of the world’s most pernicious ailments.

Poolbeg was created from Open Orphan and, in the process, has had access to vast amounts of data that shows how influenza and other infectious diseases develop.

Accumulated over more than a decade, the data is based on studies carried out among volunteers around the world.

These provide a rich vein of information that can be dissected using artificial intelligence to find common patterns and anomalies.

At the same time, computing power is being used to research products that have been tested for other diseases and found to be insufficient, but which might give results if used in a different way or for different diseases.

This type of analysis has already uncovered an “inhibitor”, known as POLB 001, which has real potential as a treatment for influenza.

The product has been shown to be safe for human use, and early trials of its effect on influenza have been encouraging.

Now Skillington, armed with funding from the recent IPO, intends to develop POLB 001 until it is ready for larger and more expensive trials, in which case it intends to license it. licensed to a large pharmaceutical company.

The process is expected to cost between £ 2-3million and the intention is to reach a deal within 18 months. The indications are promising and it is even hoped that POLB 001 can be adapted to treat certain cases of coronavirus.

Poolbeg has a pipeline of other products, all of which it hopes to develop and monetize quickly and affordably. The group is also using its database to work on vaccine development and on identifying markers that indicate whether a person is likely to be severely affected by an infectious disease or not.

Midas Verdict: Young biotech companies are not for the cautious, but Poolbeg at 9 p.m. could prove to be an exciting investment for the adventurous investor. Cathal Friel has had notable success in the field of drugs, Skillington is also very experienced and the group’s decision to focus on infectious diseases is timely. To buy.

Negotiated on: GOAL Teleprinter: POLB Contact: poolbegpharma.com or 020 7183 1499

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