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iX Biopharma starts supply of 2 drugs in Australia via telemedicine

PHARMACEUTICAL maker iX Biopharma has commenced the supply of its Wafesil and Silcap medicines through telemedicine in Australia, it said in a bourse filing on Tuesday.

The medicines, which are supplied to Australian pharmacies and available to patients by doctors’ prescription, are for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction.

The Catalist-listed company, which has facilities in Australia, identified telemedicine as a way to reach Australian patients amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Telemedicine refers to doctors prescribing medication after holding online consultations with patients on digital platforms.

The "unprecedented user growth" in telemedicine this year is partly due to more patients seeking safe and convenient access to medical treatment without the risk of potentially contracting the novel coronavirus at clinics, the company said.

It added that telemedicine offers an opportunity to reach men who would otherwise not seek treatment for erectile dysfunction due to perceived stigma or embarrassment.

iX Biopharma said it has since supplied over 4,500 boxes of Wafesil and Silcap to patients through online men's health platform Pilot.

iX Biopharma's director of corporate and commercial strategy, Eva Tan, said the company was eager to develop a telemedicine channel for its products as it believed digital health platforms would become "a permanent and well-accepted part of the healthcare ecosystem" after the Covid-19 crisis.

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that affects around 20 per cent of Australian men over 40. Both Wafesil and Silcap contain sildenafil, a medication that treats male sexual function problems.

iX Biopharma said Wafesil is the only sublingually-administered (dissolved under the tongue) sildenafil product in Australia, while Silcap is the only small capsule sildenafil product in Australia which is suitable for patients who do not like to swallow tablets.

The company added that it has applied to register Wafesil in Europe, and is preparing to register it in China. It has also filed Silcap for registration in Singapore.

Last month, it out-licensed the right to distribute Wafesil in China to Yiling Pharmaceutical.

Shares of iX Biopharma traded at 21.5 Singapore cents at Friday's close, down 1.5 cents or 6.5 per cent.

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