Rexahn Corp. began trading publicly Monday as Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc., following its merger with a New York-based company.
Shares of Rexahn are listed on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol "RXHN."
The merger with public Corporate Roadshow.Com Inc. is expected to help Rexahn support ongoing research and development activities for its oncology pipeline, beginning with its Akt-inhibitor, RX-0201, which is in Phase I trials. As a public company, Rockville, Md.-based Rexahn said it will have a broader range of financial strategies and resources to advance clinical development.
About 38 million shares of Rexahn Pharmaceuticals common stock were issued to holders of Rexahn Corp. stock, totaling about 92 percent of the combined company. Shareholders of Corporate Roadshow stock own the remaining 8 percent. Rexahn's officers and directors replaced those of Corporate Roadshow, which ceased all of its existing operations to adopt Rexahn's business plan.
The company's lead drug candidate, RX-0201, in clinical studies at Georgetown University's Lombardi Cancer Center, is described as a less-toxic approach to cancer treatment. It is a signal inhibitor that targets the production of Akt, a protein kinase believed to play a role in cancer progression. RX-0201 is designed to inhibit proliferation of cancer cells by promoting apoptosis. The drug has blocked the growth of tumors in animal models.
RX-0201 received orphan drug designation earlier this year for the treatment of ovarian cancer, renal-cell carcinoma, glioblastoma, stomach cancer and pancreatic cancer, which would provide Rexahn with possible funding opportunities and guarantee seven years of marketing exclusivity in the U.S., following product approval. The company has several other oncology drugs getting ready to begin clinical development, including RX-0183 (AP-1/Akt inhibitor), RX-5315 (G2/M inhibitor), RX-0047 (HIF inhibitor) and RX-3117 (antimetabolite). In its neurology pipeline, Rexahn has RX-10100, a drug candidate for the treatment of anxiety and depression.