Winning over new investors can be particularly challenging when your product is a complex treatment for a rare disease.
“We’ve learned to explain the science in a way most people can understand,” says Pilcher. “It also helps that NNZ-2591 is similar to Daybue and will treat similar disorders, so there’s basically one story to tell. From there, we’re happy to provide more technical data to anyone who is interested.”
He estimates about 40 per cent of the current investor base is institutional.
“Our other shareholders include a number of high-net-worth individuals, with quite big holdings, who have been through much of the journey with us,” he says.
“They're still an important part of the register but there’s also a big opportunity to build the institutional side. Most funds like cash flows, so they’re starting to take notice now. Hitting the ASX 300 index also brought more investors in, and I think we're getting pretty close to being included in the ASX 200 index, which will bring in more investors again. We’re also starting to attract attention overseas but, as we’re not trying to raise capital, we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.”
Neuren can look forward to increasing revenue as Daybue is sold around the world. In the meantime, they’re holding on to $200 million in cash until the readout of the first NNZ-2591 phase 2 trial in December.
“If this is positive, we’ll have to decide what we’re going to do with our second drug,” says Pilcher.
Whether the business will work with a partner, establish a hybrid partnership or move forward alone is yet to be determined.
“This time, we’re in a position to contemplate these options. We’ve put in a huge amount of work and thinking into Daybue, and it has taken a lot of determination, motivation and flexibility to get through that journey.”
It will be fascinating to see how the company’s future evolves.