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CorMedix Inc Common Stock (CRMD) Q2 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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CRMD earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2021.

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CorMedix Inc Common Stock (CRMD 1.69%)
Q2 2021 Earnings Call
Aug 12, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the CorMedix Inc.'s second-quarter 2021 earnings conference call. [Operator instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Dan Ferry with LifeSci advisors. Thank you.

Please go ahead.

Dan Ferry -- Investor Relations

Good afternoon, and welcome to the CorMedix second-quarter 2021 earnings conference call. Leading the call today is Khoso Baluch, chief executive officer of CorMedix. He is joined by Dr. Phoebe Mounts, executive vice president and general counsel; and Dr.

Matt David, executive vice president and chief financial officer. Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that during the call, management may make what are known as forward-looking statements within the meanings set forth in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that include but are not limited to, any of the following, any statements other than statements of historical facts regarding management's expectations, beliefs, goals, and plans about the company's prospects, including its clinical development program and marketing approval for DefenCath in the U.S. and other product candidates, future financial position, future revenues, and projected costs, and potential market acceptance of DefenCath, Neutrolin, and other product candidates.

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More specifically, forward-looking statements include any statements about our clinical development plans and the timing, cost, results, and interpretations thereof, projections as to the company's future capital raising and spending and cash position, expectations as to the timing and nature of anticipated regulatory actions, possible product licensing, business development or other transactions, any commercial plans and expectations, market projections for our product candidates, and expectations as to manufacturing and product component costs. Actual results may differ materially from these projections or estimates due to a variety of important factors, including, but not limited to, uncertainties related to clinical development, regulatory approvals, and commercialization. These risks are described in greater detail on CorMedix's filings with the SEC, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or upon request from CorMedix. CorMedix may not actually achieve the goals or plans described in these forward-looking statements, and investors should not place undue reliance on these statements.

Please note that CorMedix does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law. At this time, it is now my pleasure to turn the call over to Mr. Khoso Baluch, chief executive officer of CorMedix. Khoso, please go ahead.

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dan. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us on this call. On today's earnings call, we will discuss the second-quarter 2021 financial information and the overall progress CorMedix is making in bringing DefenCath to the U.S. market for its first indication for use as a Catheter Lock Solution for hemodialysis patients to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections.

Joining me on this call are Phoebe and Matt. Let me begin the first item for discussion. During the last earnings call on May 13, we provided an update on the progress that CorMedix has made to date on addressing the deficiencies identified by the FDA at the third-party manufacturing facility. The work has continued, and we are reiterating that at present, we are on schedule to be able to resubmit the DefenCath NDA in Quarter 4, 2021.

Phoebe will provide information on our progress since our last update. We are also balancing our preparation for launching DefenCath while limiting our cash burn so that financially we have the resources required to efficiently bring DefenCath to patients in the U.S. market when FDA approval is received. Matt will provide you an update on our second-quarter 2021 financials and provide color regarding the strength of CorMedix's balance sheet.

Despite the continued COVID pandemic, CorMedix has continued to function efficiently with the total remote workforce. I will provide an update on the potential impact of COVID-19 on CorMedix. Now let's move to the first topic, that is, with the regulatory update. Phoebe?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Thank you, Khoso, and good afternoon, everyone. I will start by assuring you that we remain on schedule to resubmit the new drug application, or NDA, in the fourth quarter of 2021. We have continued to work diligently to resolve the deficiencies identified by FDA at the third-party manufacturing facility or CMO. As I have explained previously, we have successfully completed the manual extraction study required by FDA in the complete response letter, or CRL, sent by the FDA to CorMedix.

We have demonstrated that the labeled volume of DefenCath can be consistently withdrawn from the vials. Also, as we have explained previously, resolution of the deficiencies at the manufacturing facility, identified in the post-application action Letter sent to the CMO, has required additional process qualification with subsequent validation for the vial filling process. The process qualification and validations are done by the manufacturing facility, and we are working closely with them and CMC consultants engaged by CorMedix to ensure that we are addressing FDA's concerns appropriately. The deficiencies communicated to the CMO by FDA need to be satisfactorily addressed for approval of the DefenCath NDA.

The CMC and regulatory teams of CorMedix are working collaboratively with the CMO to ensure the generation of the required data and documentation to resubmit the NDA in the fourth quarter of 2021. As previously described, FDA has informed CorMedix and the CMO that all corrections to facility deficiencies need to be complete at the time of resubmission of the DefenCath NDA. Corrective actions to address the deficiencies of the manufacturing facility will be submitted to FDA by the CMO. FDA has also informed us that corrective actions may be verified during an on-site evaluation of the manufacturing facility subsequent to the resubmission of the NDA.

As you may know, FDA announced in May that only mission-critical inspections of foreign facilities would be conducted, and the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impede in-person inspections of foreign facilities in 2021. Congress and the industry have questioned the impact of delayed inspections on drug approval decisions that result in delays for providing patient access to needed drugs. While our goal is to submit sufficient data and documentation to convince FDA that the manufacturing facility is ready to support commercial operation for DefenCath without the need for an inspection, we intend for the CMO to be prepared for an in-person or a remote interactive evaluation by FDA. FDA can decide that it may be appropriate to conduct a remote interactive evaluation for a pre-approval inspection to assess the marketing application.

We are not aware of criteria that the agency uses to determine when a remote interactive inspection is appropriate. If travel restrictions remain due to the pandemic, we hope that this option will be used by the agency to avoid delays for assessing DefenCath manufacturing when the FDA has recognized the potential of DefenCath to address an unmet medical need in reducing life-threatening catheter-related bloodstream infections. Thank you. And I will now turn the call over to Matt to cover financial results and cash guidance.

Matt?

Matt David -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Phoebe. I'm pleased to be here today to provide an overview of our second-quarter 2021 financial results as well as an update on CorMedix's cash position. The company has filed its report on Form 10-Q for the second quarter ended June 30th, 2021. I urge you to read the information contained in the report for a more complete discussion of our financial results.

With respect to our second quarter of 2021 financial results, the company has cash and equivalents of 78.3 million as of June 30th, 2021. Our net loss was approximately 4.6 million or $0.12 per share, compared with a loss of 3.8 million or $0.14 per share in the second quarter of 2020. The higher net loss recognized in 2021 compared with 2020 included increased personnel expenses and a lower tax benefit received from the New Jersey NOL program, partially offset by our raw material purchase during the second quarter of 2020. We recorded an increase in SG&A and a decrease in R&D expenses.

Operating expenses in the second quarter of 2021 decreased approximately 34% to 5.9 million, compared with 8.9 million in the second quarter of 2020. R&D expense decreased by approximately 56% to 2.5 million, driven primarily by the purchase of raw material during the same period in 2020 for the manufacturing of DefenCath prior to its potential marketing approval, which amounted to 3.4 million. SG&A expense increased approximately 4% to 3.4 million, compared with 3.2 million in the second quarter of 2020. This increase was driven primarily by an increase in non-cash charges for stock-based compensation and an increase in personnel expenses as a result of additional hires, partially offset by a decrease in consulting fees.

With respect to our first half of 2021 financial results, total operating expenses during the first half of 2021 amounted to 13.1 million compared, with 14.6 million in the first half of 2020, a reduction of 10%. R&D expense declined 37% to 5.2 million, driven primarily by the purchase of raw material during the same period in 2020 for the manufacturing of DefenCath prior to its potential marketing approval. SG&A expense increased approximately 24% compared with the first half of 2020 as a result of higher personnel expenses. We recorded net cash used in operations during the first half of 2021 of 9.8 million, compared with net cash used in operations of 8.7 million in the first half of 2020.

The difference was primarily driven by lower proceeds from the New Jersey NOL sale, 1.3 million in 2021 versus 5.2 million in 2020, which resulted in a higher net loss in the first half of 2021 as well as lower R&D expenses in the first half of 2021, driven by the raw material purchase made during the same period of the prior year. CorMedix remains in a strong position from a balance sheet perspective. We believe our cash and equivalents of 78.3 million gives the company flexibility to fund its operations through -- at least through 2022. After taking into consideration the costs for resubmission of the DefenCath NDA and initial preparations for the commercial launch for DefenCath.

As outlined by Khoso and Phoebe, we remain optimistic about our continued progress toward the goal of resubmission of the NDA in the fourth quarter of 2021. In addition to our 10-Q, we are filing today a refreshed shelf registration as well as an ATM program. These filings allow us to be prepared for the future, given we are approaching what we hope will be a pivotal year ahead for CorMedix as we seek to launch DefenCath into the hemodialysis setting. With that, I would like to pass the floor back to Khoso.

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Matt. We're gratified that despite ongoing pandemic, we've not had significant disruption to CorMedix. As Phoebe described, there remains uncertainty on FDA's ability to conduct foreign inspection of our third-party CMO. Our employees have been able to adjust to a remote working environment very effectively, and there has not been a direct impact on our financial resources by COVID-19.

Despite the pandemic, there remains an unmet medical need for a broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal catheter lock solution for hemodialysis patients. In fact, there have been a number of patients infected by COVID-19, who have experienced the need for dialysis during their hospitalization. In a large cohort analysis covering 67 hospitals, conducted by Gupta and others and published in the Journal of American Society of Nephrology, at least 20% of the COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU required dialysis during their stay in the ICU, and one in three continued to require dialysis at discharge. CoreMedix is dedicated to driving forward on our goal of bringing DefenCath to the U.S.

market for hemodialysis -- the hemodialysis segment, which represents a significant market with a very large unmet medical need. Today, there is no pharmacological agent approved in the U.S. where patients urgently need an antimicrobial catheter lock solution for prevention of CRBSI in central venous catheter. DefenCath would be the first antimicrobial catheter lock solution approved by the FDA in the U.S., where deaths occur in as many as 35% of hemodialysis patients experiencing a CRBSI.

To summarize, we continue to focus our effort, expeditiously resolving the third-party manufacturing deficiencies with a plan to resubmit in Quarter 4 2021. We are carefully balancing our cash burn while preparing for the launch of DefenCath once we have approval of the NDA by the FDA. And we are continuing to plan to broaden the opportunity for DefenCath following its approval in areas such as oncology and TPN and continue to aim to maximize the value of our technology in areas where it benefits patients. We remain confident that we have the right team and appropriate resources in play to resolve the third-party manufacturing deficiencies that have been identified and bring DefenCath to hemodialysis patients in the U.S.

We expect to continue to provide updates through this process. Thank you for your continued support of CorMedix. Let me hand the call back to the operator.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

Thank you. The floor is now open for questions. [Operator instructions] Our first question is coming from Jason Butler of JMP Securities. Please go ahead.

Jason Butler -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks for taking the question and congrats on all the progress in the quarter. One for Phoebe. Could you just confirm that you're still in full agreement with the contract manufacturer on what needs to be done and how to accomplish the additional process qualification work? And then I have a follow-up.

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Yes. I can confirm that.

Jason Butler -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. Great. And then Khoso, you mentioned some capital-efficient work that you can -- that you're doing to prepare for commercialization of DefenCath. Can you maybe give us a little bit more detail there on what the work you can do over the next few months, and how it's capital efficient? Thanks.

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So clearly, in my pre-prepared remarks, I talked about the preparation for launch while trying to balance and conserve our cash burn, so that we have enough dry powder at the time we're ready to launch DefenCath in the U.S. So, we've really focused on a couple of key initiatives. And you've heard me in previous conference calls, discuss it.

So, payer reimbursement and access strategy is very critical, and we are focusing further effort there. Disease state and brand launch plans, we're continuing to refine them. Salesforce resourcing plans, we're beginning to put those into play. And also, what we have done is engage directly with the leadership of various organizations, be it professional, provider, or patient organization.

So, those are critical elements that we are focusing our efforts on right now.

Jason Butler -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Great. Really helpful. Thanks for taking the question.

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question is coming from Joon Lee of Truist Securities. Please go ahead.

Joon Lee -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Hi. Thank you for the questions and for the updates. Regarding the process, qualification of vials -- and the vial filling process and the manual extraction studies, did those require production of new batches of DefenCath? And if so, will you need stability data from those new batches before you can submit the NDA or during the process of NDA?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Khoso, I think that's for me?

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Yup. Yes. For you.

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Yes. As I've explained, we need to do some, as you said, process qualification and then you need to validate that by generating additional batches. And part of the program for any manufactured batches that are intended for commercial use, are to put those batches into a stability program and to generate stability data to demonstrate in the fact that the product is stable and continues to meet specifications. We have an abundance of data on stability of other batches that have been produced.

And so we expect to be able to show consistency.

Joon Lee -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Those new batches that will need -- for which you need stability data for. That's a 12-month stability data?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

It's a stability program that goes on for many years.

Joon Lee -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Right. I see. And those can be submitted during the NDA review and post? Or how does that work in terms of -- I just want to know if this is going to be a rate-limiting step or ultimate approval?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

No, it's not a rate-limiting step in FDA except update to stability data.

Joon Lee -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question is coming from Chad Messer of Needham and Company. Please go ahead.

Chad Messer -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

Great. Thanks, guys. Good evening and congratulations on the progress during the quarter. Good to hear that we are on track for resubmission.

Just wondering about the potential for an FDA inspection. I know you guys are hoping you don't get one, but want to be prepared for one or at least make sure you're -- you do everything you can so that your third-party manufacturer's prepared if you get one. Is it possible for you to give us a little bit of historical perspective on what kind of issues we may or may not have to deal with in an inspection like that?

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Chad. Phoebe?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Yeah, I'm not sure what you're getting at. There is an abundance of information in FDA's database from warning letters where FDA has gone in and inspected manufacturing facilities. So it's obvious the kind of things that the agency looks for when it does an inspection. So that certainly can provide you with a historical perspective.

Chad Messer -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

Right. Well, OK. Thank you. I will -- I know what I have to work on this evening then.

Maybe just one other question. I know last quarter, we talked about your interest in exploring a pediatric program for DefenCath and that you had submitted a clinical protocol. Just wondering if there's any updates on that?

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

So we have submitted the pediatric protocol, and we will only have an update once we have the NDA for DefenCath approved, not prior to them.

Chad Messer -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

All right. OK. Thanks, guys.

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Chad.

Operator

Thank you. At this time, I'd like to turn it over to Mr. Ferry for previously submitted questions.

Dan Ferry -- Investor Relations

Thank you, operator. Phoebe, the first one is for you. Has the FDA given you any update on whether or not an on-site inspection will be required as opposed to a review of new records submitted?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Thanks, Dan. I'm sure where FDA will review very carefully. There's a new information that is submitted and probably based on that review, decide whether or not it has questions that would necessitate submission of additional information or whether it needs to conduct a remote interactive evaluation and/or an on-site inspection. So I think the FDA will likely proceed through that sequence based on the information in the assessment.

Dan Ferry -- Investor Relations

Great. Thanks, Phoebe. I have another follow-up here in the same vernacular. To your knowledge, has the FDA engaged in any remote interactive evaluations? And is this still a possibility?

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Yes. I think that's an important question. As I said in my prepared comments, the agency as a result of the pandemic may continue to have travel restrictions that impede travel for on-site inspections. So I've been very careful to talk to industry experts and the fact that FDA has not withdrawn its guidance document on remote interactive inspections, leads me to assume that it remains an option for the agency.

Dan Ferry -- Investor Relations

OK. Great. I have one for Matt here. Matt, I see you filed a universal shelf and new ATM program today.

Can you explain why now on the timing?

Matt David -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Yes, sure. Thanks for the question. Well, we certainly -- and we currently have enough cash runway through 2022, as we described on the call, we believe it is sensible from a corporate finance perspective to plan for the future, given we are approaching what we hope will be a pivotal year ahead for CorMedix.

Dan Ferry -- Investor Relations

Excellent. Thanks, Matt. Khoso, that is all I have for previously submitted questions. I'd like to turn the floor back over to you for closing remarks.

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dan. CorMedix has an experienced team of executives who have taken pharmaceuticals through the various phases of clinical studies, registration, and successfully launched products in the U.S. market. We remain committed to bringing DefenCath to the U.S.

market, whether on our own or with a strategic or commercial partner to help patients in need of protection from life-threatening infections. The importance of reducing the incident of infections and keeping patients out of the hospital is even more apparent during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Despite the delay in the NDA approval, please keep in mind that the potential for more than 10 years of market exclusivity remains because it will not commence until the NDA for DefenCath is approved. Thank you for your time and attention, and have a good evening.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 34 minutes

Call participants:

Dan Ferry -- Investor Relations

Khoso Baluch -- Chief Executive Officer

Phoebe Mounts -- Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Matt David -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Jason Butler -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Joon Lee -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Chad Messer -- Needham and Company -- Analyst

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