Merrion Pharmaceuticals plc, ("Merrion" or the "Company") (ESM: MERR) an international pharmaceutical product development company, announced today its preliminary financial results for the year ended 31 December 2010.
Commenting on the results, John Lynch, Chief Executive Officer said: 'The decrease in revenue compared to the prior year is a result of the completion of product development work for Novo Nordisk. We were contracted by Novo Nordisk to manufacture clinical trial supplies for their Phase I trials. We completed this activity during 2010 and the products are now in clinical trials. The additional capacity of our new facility has allowed us to enter 3 recent agreements to work on six new compounds including one for Novo Nordisk. This is providing Merrion with new revenue sources in 2011. Cash was increased just after year end by the receipt of $1.0 million from Novo Nordisk'.
Commenting further on the outlook for 2011, John Lynch added: "The hard work carried out in 2010 has set us in good stead for the next year. In the last quarter of 2010, Merrion signed pre-license agreements with two new partners and with Novo Nordisk for a new compound. Work on these programmes is underway and we are pleased with progress to date. There are other license opportunities in the Company's own portfolio and in existing partner programmes. We are hopeful that some of these agreements will become full license agreements following the results of the feasibility work. The Novo Nordisk Phase I clinical trial manufacturing is now complete and while development revenue from Novo Nordisk will decrease going forward; the new agreements are giving Merrion significant prospective development fee revenue and milestone revenue opportunities. Also, under current license agreements with Novo Nordisk, the Company is eligible for revenue on the achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones. Such revenue could be in excess of US$100 million. '
Merrion is focused on completing licensing agreements in 2011, and we strengthened our business development expertise by appointing Dr. Hing Kin Chan as Chief Business Officer in 2010. This is an industry with a very long deal cycle, but we have active negotiations on a number of out-licensing opportunities, which we are aiming to bring to conclusion efficiently. Recent third party clinical trials published on zoledronic acid, the active ingredient in Orazol, have demonstrated significant improvement in disease recurrence and survival in breast cancer. We have used this data to refine the design of our trial and we are currently working to clarify the cost of a Phase III clinical trial in order to bring Orazol to the market.
Our Irish Medicines Board (IMB) licensed facility at Citywest provides much needed capacity to expand our pipeline and to develop our technology base. Studies completed in 2010 have demonstrated additional attributes of our GIPET technology, creating additional product potential. We are currently investigating the application of GIPET to additional products with a focus on drug efficacy, safety and improved quality of life for patients. We expect to add to our portfolio during 2011. "
Merrion Pharmaceuticals plc (www.merrionpharma.com) is a publicly listed product development company focused on delivering innovation to the market by working on our own products and partnering with pharmaceutical companies to develop patented products. Established in 2003, Merrion is primarily engaged in the development of oral forms (tablets/capsules) of drugs that have suboptimal absorption, many of which can only be given by injection.
Merrion's patented drug delivery technologies increase bioavailability, by improving absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, of drugs that are otherwise poorly absorbed. This can provide substantial benefits in patient convenience and safety, and while also having the potential to enhance drug efficacy. Merrion utilises its technology to develop new oral drugs in two ways; it develops its own proprietary drugs using the GIPET technology and partners with other pharmaceutical companies in developing oral GIPET formulations of their products.
Merrion currently has four internal product development programs and 10 partner programs based on the GIPET technology.
Merrion has agreements with several pharmaceutical companies. Currently there are two ongoing license agreements with Novo Nordisk to develop and commercialise oral forms of Novo Nordisk's Insulin and GLP-1 using Merrion's proprietary GIPET technology. In addition, Merrion has entered into a collaboration and option agreement with Novo Nordisk for an undisclosed compound. Merrion also has an oral drug delivery research collaborative program with Ferring Pharmaceuticals, an undisclosed 'top ten' pharma company, Rebel Pharmaceuticals and another non disclosed pharma company.
Merrion Pharmaceuticals is based in Dublin, in a state of the art, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) purpose built facility which allows speed of development and reduced risk in taking ideas from conception to final Phase II formulation. Merrion also has operations in Wilmington, North Carolina. Merrion is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (ESM) under the symbol MERR.
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