If you appreciate biotech stocks that are easy to keep track of, it just doesn't get any better than AnaptysBio (NASDAQ: ANAB). The clinical-stage biotech is knee-deep in mid-stage studies with two new drug candidates, and neither program will produce results until the second half of the year.
AnaptysBio results: The raw numbers
|Metric||Q1 2019||Q1 2018||Year-Over-Year Change|
|Income (loss) from operations||($27.8 million)||($15.8 million)||N/A|
|Earnings per share||($0.82)||($0.63)||N/A|
Data source: AnaptysBio.
What happened with AnaptysBio this quarter?
There wasn't any revenue to report, but the company burned through just 3.2% of its cash pile during the first three months of the year. Enrolling more patients into phase 2 studies with etokimab and ANB019 raised research and development spending 75% to $20.6 million.
AnaptysBio continued its 300-patient phase 2b Atlas trial with moderate-to-severe eczema patients and etokimab. The company also forged ahead with a pair of studies to test its second clinical-stage candidate, ANB019, as a treatment for a pair of rare inflammatory disorders, generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) and palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP).
Image source: Getty Images.
What management had to say
Although there was very little for CEO Hamza Suria to talk about with regards to activity in the first quarter, he set the stage for the rest of the year, saying, "2019 is set to be an important year for AnaptysBio, with multiple top-line data readouts from our wholly owned pipeline, initiation of a new Phase 2b trial of etokimab in eosinophilic asthma, and submission of an IND for our next development candidate in our wholly owned pipeline."
Thanks to a low-key quarter, the company finished March with $484.2 million in cash and investments. If etokimab disappoints, there's still enough cash to last through ANB019's ongoing trials and possible redemption.
We don't need to be too worried about etokimab's upcoming readout. The IL-33 inhibitor just needs to repeat the success that we saw with smaller groups of eczema patients.
We'll find out if etokimab has what it takes when the company announces top-line eczema results from the Atlas trial in the second half. Before the year is finished, we should also see results from a 100-patient placebo-controlled study with etokimab and chronic rhinosinusitis patients.
AnaptysBio wants to begin a larger asthma study with etokimab this year, which will raise the company's cash burn rate somewhat. According to management, there's probably enough cash on the balance sheet to fund its operating plan through the end of 2020.
If etokimab somehow disappoints, ANB019 could swoop in to save AnaptysBio. A single-arm study with 10 GPP patients will read out in mid-2019, and a placebo-controlled phase 2 study with 50 PPP patients should have data to present in the first half of 2020.
Just hang on a few more months, and this stock will start delivering all the excitement you can handle.
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