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  • Firebrick Pharma (FRE) has a stellar first day on the ASX, with shares nearly tripling as investors buy into the potential of the pharmaceutical firm’s virus-killing nasal spray
  • The company’s flagship product, Nasodine, is designed to kill viruses present in the nose to stop them from spreading in the body and to other people
  • With a Phase Three trial slated for this year, the spray could be approved as a treatment for the common cold in adults as early as 2023
  • Firebrick is also testing the product against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a Phase Two trial in South Africa later this year
  • Following its $7 million IPO, shares in Firebrick Pharma soared 165 per cent today to close at 53 cents each

Firebrick Pharma (FRE) had a stellar first day on the ASX, with shares nearly tripling as investors bought into the potential of the pharmaceutical firm’s virus-killing nasal spray.

The company debuted on the stock market at 12:30 pm AEDT, and shares immediately began to climb. By market close, Firebrick shares were up 165 per cent to 53 cents each.

For reference, Firebrick offered shares in its $7 million initial public offering (IPO) at 20 cents a pop.

Firebrick’s virus-killing nasal medicine

Firebrick’s flagship product is its Nasodine Nasal Spray.

Beyond simply relieving the symptoms of a viral infection, Firebrick’s spray is designed to kill viruses present in the nose and stop them from spreading in the body and to other people.

Co-founder and Executive Chair Peter Molloy said he had been working on the product for almost a decade, with Nasodine so far having found success in three human clinical trials.

“Together with Dr Stephen Goodall, I started Firebrick in 2012 with the mission to develop a broad-spectrum antiviral nasal spray as a treatment for the common cold,” Dr Molloy said.

“As the person who, at the time, was responsible for the Betadine range in Australia and launched Betadine Sore Throat Gargle, I believed that a nasal spray based on the same active ingredient (povidone-iodine) could kill the viruses responsible for the common cold and lead to an important new approach to treating an ailment that afflicts virtually everyone.”

Dr Molloy said human trials have so far shown the spray to be safe and well-tolerated as a potential treatment for the common cold.

Moreover, a Phase Three trial showed Nasodine to “significantly” reduce the overall severity of the common cold in people with stronger symptoms when treatment started, those with confirmed viral infections, and those who started treatment within 24 hours of first showing symptoms.

“Nasodine is now potentially only one successful Phase Three clinical trial away from approval as a treatment for the common cold in adults,” Dr Molloy said.

According to Firebrick’s prospectus, the next Phase Three trial of the nasal spray is set to commence this year. If all goes according to plan and the TGA approves Nasodine, the product could hit Australian shelves as early as 2023.

Can’t ignore COVID

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the world as we know it over the past two years, Firebrick joined the throng of pharmaceutical companies looking to find a way to treat the virus.

Nasodine has already been proven to be effective against seasonal coronaviruses, so Firebrick is now testing the spray against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The company plans to launch a Phase Two clinical trial in South Africa this year to assess Nasodine as a potential treatment for COVID-19-positive patients. The main goal of this trial will be to prove if Nasodine can reduce the shedding of the virus.

“This study may move Nasodine closer to a future approval for use in the management of COVID-19 and demonstrate its potential role in the management of other pandemic viral diseases.”

Firebrick’s $7 million IPO will fund its expansion into other international markets and help support new product development.

FRE by the numbers
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