IntelGenx Technologies Corp (TSX.V:IGX)(OTCQX:IGXT) CEO Interview

IntelGenx Technologies Corp
CEO: Horst Zerbe



Interview Transcripts:

Juan Costello: Good day from Wall Street. This is Juan Costello, Senior Analyst of the Wall Street Reporter. And joining us today is Horst G. Zerbe, the CEO for IntelGenx. The company trade on the TSX venture. Their ticker symbol is IGX as well as now on the OTCQX, ticker symbol is IGXT. Thanks for joining us Horst.

Horst G. Zerbe: Good morning, Juan.

Juan Costello: Great. Now starting off, give us a brief history and overview of the company for some of our listeners here that are new to your story.

Horst G. Zerbe: Yeah, I’m happy to do that, Juan. IntelGenx is a drug delivery company focusing on oral drug delivery. I founded the company in 2003, it became active in 2005. In 2006 we attempted a listing on the bulletin board and actually in 2008 we attempted a listing on the TSX and TSX venture exchange and we have been duly listed since then. Most of the trading actually occurs in the U.S. on the OTCQX. Going back to the company’s business and mission, as I mentioned, before we are a drug delivery company with a focus on oral drug delivery and our mission is to provide comprehensive services to the pharmaceutical industry pre-commercialization. Those services include product development services that is our core competency.

In addition to that, we also provide clinical services in most cases that is reduced to phase one studies. We provide further on regulatory services meaning we interact with FDA, we file our own NDAs, we achieve the product approval as we have recently. And finally, we also provide manufacturing services. When it comes to commercialization of our products, we enter into commercialization and licensing agreements with our partners and from that point on we are entitled to milestone payments and royalties on product sales.

Juan Costello: Great. And so, yeah talk about the – your three main platforms for drug delivery.

Horst G. Zerbe: Yes. Our currently leading technology is an extended-release tablet technology. Our currently product high dose anti-depressant involves that technology. It uses controlled erosion of erodible cover layers as a mechanism to control the release of the active from a polymer matrix. We initially developed this technology as an inexpensive alternative to osmotic tablets and have found that we can very easily mimic the release profiles that you achieve, that you typically achieve with osmotic tablets however at a fraction of the cost that is usually involved for the development and manufacturing of osmotic the tablets.

The second technology and that is gaining more and more interest amongst industry partners is an oral film technology. And we’re using and we have developed a rapidly disintegrating oral film technology. If you happen to be familiar with the Listerine film from a performance standpoint, it is very comparable in that upon administration to the oral cavity that rapidly disintegrates, thereby then releasing and active and making it available for oral absorption. Typically, we use this technology for applications that we require rapid onset of action, typical example of that would be migraine, where the patients does need relevant and active plasma levels within a very short period of time. Other indications would be erectile dysfunction, insomnia, allergies and the likes.

And finally, our third platform technology is a Mucoadhesive tablet and that we use to achieve a controlled release of an active into the oral cavity from the tablet that sticks for a predetermined period of time to the inner lining of the mouth and this controlled release would then be again followed by controlled absorption of the active through the oral mucosa.

We use this technology very typically in situations where an oral absorption would be desirable in order to avoid or in order to circumvent I might say for it’s past effect. And there are a number of molecules that when ingested and absorbed from the intestinal tract undergo massive metabolization so that there are only very low concentrations of the un-metabolized parent compound in the blood that can be avoided through all absorption of the drug, so those are our three platform technologies.

Juan Costello: Great. And talk about some of the current trends right now in the sector and how positioned in the company is to capitalize on them?

Horst G. Zerbe: One is a clear trend right now towards life cycle management and as you would very well know the development of pharmaceutical product is getting more and more expensive and so pharmaceutical companies look for ways as to how to extent the expressivity of their propriety molecules and one way to do that would be to apply propriety drug delivery technology to the molecule once the patent protection of the molecule itself has expired. And that is where we come in like all the other drug delivery companies.

We offer life cycle management opportunities to the pharmaceutical industry using our propriety platform technologies and we see significant interests in the pharmaceutical industry for these opportunities. What we particularly see is rapidly increasing interest in oral film technology. Oral films have not been around for a very long time yet and there are besides a couple of OTC products for pediatric applications and there are mainly two products in the market and one of them is doing extremely well and the pharmaceutical industry recognizes that here is an opportunity for a novel drug delivery system and for a nice life cycle management opportunity, so we see great interest in our oral film technology.

Juan Costello: Good. And perhaps if you could walk us through your background, experience here Horst and talk a little bit about the strength of a senior management team?

Horst G. Zerbe: Certainly. I’m an industrial pharmacist by training. I did my training in Germany, PhD in medicinal chemistry also in Germany. I joined the pharmaceutical industry in the 80s over in Germany and it was right away in the area of drug delivery. I was initially involved with oral drug delivery systems. In the late 80s, I joined 3M pharmaceuticals focusing then a little more on transdermal drug delivery that’s where I was first exposed to oral films and I then that was in the early 90s and mid 90s joined Lohmann Therapy Systems and was then again looking at transdermals and oral films.

And then finally in the – in 1999, when I accepted an assignment to manage a start-up which was a joint a venture between LTS and another Canadian-based company focusing on oral drug delivery and during that assignment I saw an opportunity to start my own company, IntelGenx Technologies. And so, since 2005, we have been – and I have been working for and with IntelGenx and we have great funds here. The management team consists of very seasoned people. If I look at our CFO, Paul Simmons, he has both small and big company experience on both sides of the Atlantic. He is British by origin and worked for big publicly traded companies as a CFO and as a director of finance and also as a controller over in Europe and here in North America as well. He has been with the company now for four years and we’re very happy to have him.

As far as our R&D goes, our Director of R&D is, if you will, home grown, Nadine Paiement is a polymer science – polymer chemist and medicinal chemist. She is the co-inventor of our layered Tablet Technology as well as our film technology, I’ve been working with her for 12 years. She’s intimately familiar with all our platform technologies. Business Development, is seasoned guy Alex Serrano, he has a PhD in Neurochemistry and he was – prior to joining IntelGenx associated with AstraZeneca where he was involved in the in licensing of the compounds and the technology. So that’s the key management team here.

Juan Costello: Great. And what are some of the goals and milestones are that you and the team are hoping will accomplish over the course of the next year.

Horst G. Zerbe: Well right now with exciting things going on, the most exciting thing is that we are just in the process of launching our, our most of that probably high dose with anti depressant and containing bupropion 250mg of bupropion and we are just in the launch activities together with our licensing partner Edgemont pharma. And we’re expecting so that is the first and product developed at IntelGenx and you know successfully bought through the review process at FDA that will bring to market, it’s important for us because number one it validates this company in a sense that we are demonstrating for first time that we’re able to bring a product from conception all the way to the market and secondly it does obviously have great impact on our financial situation. We’re expecting that the revenues, we’re expecting revenues of, from this product of 2 million in 2012 going up to over 7 million in 2014 at which point we will for sure be cash positive and profitable. So this is we’re at an infection point right now with this product.

Juan Costello: And what would you say makes the company unique from some of the other players in sector and the product?

Horst G. Zerbe: It is clearly the breath and depth of our platform technologies, we’re quite unique with our portfolio of the platform technologies that offers really everything you need in this space of oral drug delivery from extended to release once a day applications to immediate release applications for indications requiring satisfaction to controlled very unique oral controlled release that can effectively circumvent [Indiscernible] [0:16:07] metabolism. I think it’s the breath, breath and depth of these delivery technologies and that sets us apart from the rest of the pack.

Juan Costello: Great and so as you continue to speak with investors and the financial community, as you are currently being at the ages conference and you believe that the company message in your story an outsider completely understood and appreciate by them and it’s not what would you wish investors better understood about the company?

Horst G. Zerbe: Yeah one that is a very interesting and a very important question. I believe that we have been able to convince the investor community that we can successfully develop a product and bring it to the market. I think there’s no doubt out there that we’re capable of doing that. What investors have yet to see is as to whether products that come out of our laboratory will eventually be successful on the market and that is what we are in the process of demonstrating right now, with the launch of our high dose anti-depressant that I do believe that once we’ve provided proof of this second objective that then our share price will really take off.

Juan Costello: Great. And so, once again join us today is Horst G. Zerbe, the CEO for IntelGenx. The company trades on the OTCQX ticker symbol is IGXT as well as on the TSX venture ticker symbol is IGX, currently trading at $0.59 a share and before we conclude here Horst G. Zerbe would briefly recap some of your key points, why do you believe investor should consider the company as a good investment opportunity today?

Horst G. Zerbe: Clearly, we’re at an infection right point right now we’re bringing the launching our first product which is eventually going the, to turn the company profitable and so I think it’s an extremely attractive investment opportunity from that stand point right now. And this – so we’re on our way to becoming a profitable company with sustainable growth potential.

Juan Costello: Well, we certainly look forward to continue to attract your company’s growth and reporting your upcoming progress and we’d like to thank you for taking the time to join us today Horst G. Zerbe and update on our investor audience on IntelGenx.

Horst G. Zerbe: Thank you very much for having me on the program.

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