The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided Opthea Limited (ASX:OPT) a $14.6 million research and development (R&D) tax credit for the company’s work on novel biologic therapies to treat back-of-the-eye diseases.
Opthea’s CEO and Managing Director Dr Megan Baldwin said the refund is for research and development costs incurred in the 2018/2019 financial year on Opthea’s OPT-302 development programme, and represents the same amount disclosed in the company’s audited financial statements at 30 June 2019.
This R&D tax incentive credit of A$14.6 million increases the company’s cash balances to over A$30 million and will contribute to the execution and delivery of outcomes from our clinical trials of OPT-302 in both wet AMD and DME,” Dr Baldwin said.
Opthea is a biologics drug developer focusing on ophthalmic disease therapies.
It controls exclusive worldwide rights to a significant intellectual property portfolio around VEGF-C, VEGF-D and VEGFR-3. Opthea’s intellectual property is held within its wholly-owned subsidiary Vegenics Pty Ltd.
Opthea’s product development programs are focused on developing OPT-302 for retinal eye diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
OPT- 302 is a soluble form of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) or ‘Trap’ molecule that blocks the activity of two proteins (VEGF-C and VEGF-D) that cause blood vessels to grow and leak, processes which contribute to the pathophysiology of retinal diseases.