Small-cap biopharmaceutical Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNTA) generally pleased investors this morning by reporting its first-quarter earnings results and announcing the final analysis of its GALAXY-1 trial involving ganetespib in non-small cell lung cancer (in a separate press release).

Since Synta is a wholly clinical-stage company, it recorded no revenue for either the first quarter this year or in the prior year. Research and development costs, however, jumped 7% to $17.6 million, while selling, general, and administrative expenses rose 36% to $5.3 million.

The end result was a 14% increase in its net loss to $23.6 million, or $0.28 per share, compared to the $20.7 million loss, or $0.30 per share, reported in the year-ago quarter. Keep in mind, Synta had fewer shares outstanding last year, thus the higher EPS loss.

Cash is always important to follow for wholly clinical-stage companies, and Synta ended the quarter with $78.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities -- down from $91.5 million in the sequential fourth quarter. It did, however, net an additional $23 million in proceeds from common stock offerings since the end of the quarter, which gives the company ample cash to operate through at least the first half of 2015.

Synta also released its final analysis from the GALAXY-1 trial involving its Hsp90 inhibitor, ganetespib. According to that data, ganetespib was particularly effective in chemosensitive trial patients with an adjusted death risk reduction of 31% as it relates to overall survival, and an adjusted 26% benefit as it relates to progression-free survival. This chemosensitive group will be the basis for Synta's upcoming GALAXY-2 phase 3 trial. 

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Compare Brokers