Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Note 1 - Nature of Business

Note 1 - Nature of Business
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2021
Notes to Financial Statements  
Nature of Business and Liquidity [Text Block]

1. Nature of Business


The terms "MBI" or "the Company", "we", "our", and "us" are used herein to refer to Moleculin Biotech, Inc. MBI is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, organized as a Delaware corporation in July 2015. The Company's focus is on the treatment of highly resistant cancers and viruses through the development of its drug candidates. These candidates are based substantially on discoveries licensed from The University of Texas System on behalf of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, which we refer to as MD Anderson. MBI formed Moleculin Australia Pty. Ltd., (MAPL), a wholly owned subsidiary in June 2018, to perform certain preclinical development in Australia. This has enabled the Company to realize the benefits of certain research and development tax credits in Australia. In July 2021, MBI formed Moleculin Amsterdam B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary, to act as its legal representative for clinical trials in Europe for Moleculin Biotech, Inc. 


In 2019, the Company sublicensed essentially all of the rights to its technologies in 29 countries in Europe and Asia to WPD Pharmaceuticals Sp.z o.o. (WPD or WPD Pharmaceuticals) in exchange for collaboration on development in Europe. Also in 2019, the Company sublicensed its technologies to Animal Life Sciences, Inc. (ALI), to enable research and commercialization for non-human use and share development data. As part of this agreement, ALI issued to the Company a 10% interest in ALI.


The Company has three core technologies: 1) Annamycin, which the Company refers to as a "next generation" anthracycline; 2) a portfolio of Immune/Transcription Modulators, of which WP1066 is one of the lead molecules; and 3) a portfolio of Metabolism/Glycosylation Inhibitors, of which WP1122 is the lead molecule. The Company has six drug candidates, representing all three core technologies, and three of those have shown human activity in clinical trials. As of the end of 2020, those three drug candidates accounted for five clinical trials in the United States (U.S.) and Europe. Two of those trials are externally funded studies of WP1066 in brain tumors. Two internally funded Phase 1 clinical trials, Annamycin in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and WP1220 in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), were successfully concluded. An additional internally funded Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Annamycin in AML is currently ongoing in Poland. In the second quarter of 2021, the Company commenced enrollment and dosed the first subject in its U.S. Phase 1b/2 clinical trial evaluating Annamycin for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma (STS) lung metastases. The Company anticipates that the externally funded WP1066 trial in brain tumors at MD Anderson will be terminated this year and expects to commence a similar WP1066 externally funded trial elsewhere in 2022.


Additionally, MBI expects a second, grant funded Phase 1b/2 clinical trial of Annamycin in STS lung metastases to be primarily investigator-funded in Poland. MBI also plans to begin a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Annamycin in combination with Ara-C for the treatment of AML in Europe, by seeking approval for its own clinical trial and, possibly, a second, similar grant funded trial through its sublicensee, WPD Pharmaceuticals in Poland. The Company is actively working with regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom (U.K.) to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial of WP1122 in healthy volunteers with the intent to progress to COVID-19 patients either there or in locations where the prevalence of COVID-19 will adequately support recruitment. The Company intends to internally fund the initial trials of WP1122 but may seek external funding opportunities if encouraging activity is seen in COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the Company is pursuing filing an Investigative New Drug application (IND) in the U.S. with WP1122 for the treatment of certain cancers in 2021. Finally, the Company continues to seek opportunities to collaborate on a potential Phase 2 clinical study of WP1220 in CTCL.


The Company does not have manufacturing facilities and all manufacturing activities are contracted out to third parties. Additionally, the Company does not have and does not intend to have a sales organization. The Company’s overall strategy is to seek potential outlicensing opportunities with development/commercialization strategic partners who are better suited for the marketing, sales and distribution of its drugs, if approved.


COVID-19 - In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic, which continues to spread throughout the world. The spread of COVID-19 has caused significant volatility in U.S. and international markets, including Poland, where MBI conducts some of its clinical trials and Italy, where its Annamycin drug supply is produced. There has been limited interruption of its drug supply, and most Polish clinics where the Company is conducting trials are limiting access for monitoring activities. Additionally, MBI believes COVID-19 materially slowed the recruitment of patients for its clinical trials, but it is now beginning to see an increase in recruitment. This could worsen or be alleviated at any time. Furthermore, there is significant uncertainty around the breadth and duration of business disruptions related to COVID-19, as well as its impact on the U.S. and international economies and, as such, the Company is unable to determine if it will have a material impact to its operations. Additionally, the Company believes that the potential for impact to its supply chain due to COVID-19 will be reduced as vaccine production normalizes throughout the industry. In view of current worldwide trends with respect to COVID-19, MBI does not expect COVID-19 to materially impact recruitment for current or future oncology trials as COVID-19 hospitalizations have recently decreased. However, the Company cannot be certain that these trends will continue and there is the possibility they may reverse, especially in view of the increases in the D variant cases.