Molecure — Progressing the validation of mRNA platform

Molecure (WSE: MOC)

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0.08 (0.40%)

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Research: Healthcare

Molecure — Progressing the validation of mRNA platform

Molecure has announced that it has generated the in vitro proof-of-concept (PoC) data for its mRNA platform, marking a step toward one of its long-term strategic objectives. Based on an in vitro study, management has confirmed the small molecule inhibition of the translation of a protein implicated in cancer via direct binding to mRNA encoding this protein. While the field of RNA-based biopharmaceuticals has gained traction during the pandemic with the use of mRNA vaccines, Molecure is one of the few biotechs focused on advancing small molecules designed to directly interact with mRNA structures. This approach has potential advantages compared to biologics, most notably patient compliance, given that most of the small-molecule candidates will likely be designed to be dosed orally (versus the more invasive injection/intravenous approaches that biologics generally require). While Molecure is in the early stages of developing this platform approach, we believe the announcement of PoC data marks an important milestone. Management will now evaluate continued preclinical and potentially clinical development of lead molecules optimised in this programme.

Soo Romanoff

Written by

Soo Romanoff

Managing Director - Head of Content, Healthcare

molecure01

Healthcare

Molecure

Progressing the validation of mRNA platform

Pharma and biotech

Spotlight Flash

19 December 2023

Price

PLN21.25

Market cap

PLN357m

Share price graph

Share details

Code

MOC

Listing

Warsaw Stock Exchange

Shares in issue

16.8m

Cash at 30 September 2023

PLN85m

Business description

Molecure is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. It uses its medicinal chemistry and biology capabilities to discover and develop first-in-class small-molecule drug candidates that directly modulate underexplored protein targets and the function of RNA to treat multiple incurable diseases.

Bull

Two assets in clinical development (OATD-02 in Phase I; OATD-01 in preparation for Phase II).

OATD-01 has potential for disease-modifying action in interstitial lung disease.

Pipeline supported by preclinical assets and technology platform.

Bear

Delays or disruptions to timelines could affect management’s estimated cash runway.

Unvalidated mechanisms of action increase development risk.

Additional funding needed to complete Phase II development.

Analysts

Soo Romanoff

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Dr Arron Aatkar

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Molecure is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

Molecure has announced that it has generated the in vitro proof-of-concept (PoC) data for its mRNA platform, marking a step toward one of its long-term strategic objectives. Based on an in vitro study, management has confirmed the small molecule inhibition of the translation of a protein implicated in cancer via direct binding to mRNA encoding this protein. While the field of RNA-based biopharmaceuticals has gained traction during the pandemic with the use of mRNA vaccines, Molecure is one of the few biotechs focused on advancing small molecules designed to directly interact with mRNA structures. This approach has potential advantages compared to biologics, most notably patient compliance, given that most of the small-molecule candidates will likely be designed to be dosed orally (versus the more invasive injection/intravenous approaches that biologics generally require). While Molecure is in the early stages of developing this platform approach, we believe the announcement of PoC data marks an important milestone. Management will now evaluate continued preclinical and potentially clinical development of lead molecules optimised in this programme.

Molecure announced that based on its in vitro cell-based assay (ie typical for early-stage preclinical research) it was able to confirm that its small molecule directly interacted with mRNA to inhibit the translation of an encoded protein implicated in cancer. The company also stated that the extent of protein synthesis inhibition correlated with the concentration of small molecules used, suggesting a dose-dependence, which we believe helps validate Molecure’s approach. Its mRNA platform first involves an assessment of an mRNA structure, including the identification of possible binding regions. The functionality of the identified region(s) is then confirmed, followed by modelling of its tertiary structure and virtual screening. The binding of the most promising small molecule compounds is then assessed using biophysical methods, before evaluating the inhibition of the protein translation encoded by the mRNA.

Historical figures

Year
end

Revenue
(PLNm)

EBIT
(PLNm)

EPS*
(PLN)

DPS
(PLN)

P/E

(x)

Yield
(%)

12/20

124.9

73.7

4.64

0.0

4.78

N/A

12/21

1.5

(13.6)

(0.98)

0.0

N/A

N/A

12/22

1.6

(15.3)

(1.09)

0.0

N/A

N/A

Source: Company accounts. Note: *Diluted EPS.

The generation of in vitro PoC data marks an important milestone for Molecure, as the field of small molecule mRNA inhibition may still be considered in its infancy. The company will now evaluate the possibilities of continued preclinical and potentially clinical development of lead molecules optimised in this programme.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Molecure and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Molecure. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

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Copyright: Copyright 2023 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

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London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

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London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Molecure and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Molecure. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2023 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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