5 December 2012
Dear Novogen Shareholders
My name is Graham Kelly and I am your newly-appointed CEO of Novogen Ltd. I come back to the role with a great sense of pride and not a small amount of satisfaction. I have unfinished business … a technology to put back on track and the faith of some long-suffering shareholders to be restored. In that task I am joined by Dr Andrew Heaton, our Chief Scientific Officer, and together we will be driving the Company forward.
Andrew and I are back because Novogen has acquired the company, Triaxial Pharmaceuticals. Triaxial was formed by the three scientists most responsible for developing the original Novogen intellectual property concerning isoflavonoid anti-cancer drugs. After leaving Novogen, the three of us came together out of a belief that the drugs that we had developed at Novogen represented the start of the process, rather than the end. I refer you to our Blog site to understand what I mean by this.
From that belief came a theory that we hoped would lead to more powerful anti-cancer drugs and ones that would be more available to the cancer cell. The particular issue we wanted to address was why the remarkable anti-cancer activity that we and a large number of collaborators around the world had observed in the test-tube with those drugs was not repeated in humans to the same extent. We developed a theory that had to do with the overall shape of the molecule and the need to protect certain parts of that molecule from chemical reactions within the body. Putting that theory in practice, however, meant developing a wholly new method of drug construction, and that is what Triaxial eventually achieved. That method, for which a number of patents have and are continuing to be applied, allows the design and construction of new families of compounds not previously achieved.
From the very first library of compounds made with this novel technology has emerged an outstanding prospect … CS-6. In designing this drug, we chose to go one extra step and really showcase the utility of the technology by designing a drug that met the known structural requirements for crossing the blood-brain barrier.
CS-6 is active in the laboratory against a wide range of human cancer cell types, but it happens to show a particular potency against glioma (brain cancer) cells. Our clinical target for this drug, therefore, is glioblastoma multiforme, the main form of primary brain cancer in humans.
Gliomas are rarely curable, generally responding poorly to standard chemotherapy, and with 10,000 new cases being diagnosed each year in the USA alone, this represents a considerable unmet need in medicine.
While we are getting on with the development of CS-6, the search will go on for even more extensions of the technology. We have an active analogue program underway looking at even more complex versions of CS-6 which we hope will extend the utility of this new family of anti-cancer drugs even further.
So that is your new company, one that I hope you will follow with growing interest and a sense of involvement over the coming years. To help you with that, I make the pledge that we, the executive, will be as open and as responsive as it is possible to be. Feel free to contact us at any time with any questions or comments. I feel very strongly about the rights of shareholders and that as the owners of the Company, we serve you and are answerable to you.
Finally, if it provides any comfort for shareholders who have seen their shareholding asset fall in value in recent years, Triaxial shareholders have their equity in the new Novogen in the form of shares which only vest when three key milestones are achieved – successful completion of a Phase 1 study, successful completion of a Phase 2 study, and obtaining Investigational New drug status from the FDA for any one drug.
I hope you take this as evidence of our confidence in the technology and in the future. Welcome aboard.
Yours sincerely, Graham Kelly