Shares in Protherics had risen nearly 4% this morning on the London Stock Exchange after the group released an upbeat trading update with its chief executive claiming “strong financial and clinical progress”.

With regard to its marketed products, the company said that, over the last year, its digoxin toxicity drug DigiFab (digoxin immune fab) has been doing particularly well on high market demand in the US, while the rattlesnake antivenom CroFab (crotalidae polyvalent immune fab) is continuing to meet sales expectations.

In addition, Voraxaze (carboxypeptidase G2), an adjunctive therapy for patients with impaired kidney function who are experiencing, or are at risk of, toxicity from the chemotherapy methotrexate, has also shown significant sales growth following US approval of its supply under a treatment IND with cost recovery, the group said.

Clinical developments
On the clinical side, Protherics noted it has kicked off three Phase II studies in the last six months, including AstraZeneca’s programme for CytoFab (polyclonal ovine anti-TNF antibody fragments) in sepsis from severe infections, results from which are due around the turn of the year.

Furthermore, it confirmed plans to start two more mid-stage trials in the first half of this year, including a proof-of-concept Phase IIa study of its Angiotensin Therapeutic Vaccine in patients with hypertension, and the group’s chief executive Andrew Heath said headline results from the DEEP Phase IIb study investigating the use of Digibind (digoxin immune fab) in pre-eclampsia should be reported in April.