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NEWS CRUNCH
Novogen becomes Kazia Therapeutics
Kazia Therapeutics is an agile oncology-focused biotechnology company, based in Sydney, Australia, with two clinical staged drug development candidates and an early stage discovery program, across a range of oncology indications

Australian biotechnology company, Novogen has announced that it will change its name to Kazia Therapeutics and that it will consolidate its share register, after the overwhelming majority of shareholders voted in favour of the proposed changes at the company's AGM held in Sydney last week.

Commenting on the transformation, CEO, Dr James Garner said: "When Novogen was established over 23 years ago it had a completely different focus to the oncology drug development company that it is now. We've been through a concerted transformation process over the past two years. We've almost totally changed our portfolio of drug development assets, have what is largely an all new team and we feel like a different company. Our new brand, Kazia Therapeutics, better represents our business model, strategic intent and values, and is reflective of the innovative, focused and agile company that we have become."

The word 'Kazia' is derived from 'Kaizen', a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices and personal efficiency.

Over the past 18 months, Kazia has executed changes to its Research and Development portfolio, which now includes two clinical-stage assets, as well as changes to its personnel, organisational culture and the way it does business. The company's new operating model sees it partner with big pharma to bring undervalued drugs to market more efficiently -- a win for both industry and patients in need.

Dr Garner also noted that the share consolidation was important to the company's transformation, "We have heard consistently from US investors that it is difficult to invest in a company with so many outstanding shares on issue. Combined with what has been a recently lower share price, it can mean we are lumped in the 'penny dreadful' category and are therefore open to speculative trading. The consolidation is important to improving the way Kazia is viewed externally by both investors and potential partners, as we market our drugs on the world stage."

Kazia is currently developing Cantrixil for ovarian cancer and GDC-0084 for the primary form of brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme.

Cantrixil is a locally developed, first-in-class candidate which targets the entire spectrum of cancer cells, including tumour- initiating cells thought to cause cancer recurrence. A Phase I clinical trial of Cantrixil is underway with results expected to be released in 2018.

Kazia in-licensed GDC-0084 from Genentech in 2016 after a Phase I trial returned promising results. A phase II trial will start in coming weeks.

Kazia has also announced its plans to establish an entity in China to facilitate greater opportunities in the Asia region, as well as a move to out-license some of its preclinical assets to the biotech start-up Heaton-Brown Life Sciences.

"I'm immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past 18 months, but we're really just now at the starting blocks," Dr Garner said.

Source: Kazia Therapeutics Limited

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