Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) announced first-quarter 2018 results on Thursday after the market closed, detailing expanded partnerships, progress for its important LCA10 drug candidate, and a number of other intriguing updates for the broader business. 

With shares of the early stage biopharma company up more than 4% on Friday in response, let's get a bigger dose of what drove its results to start the year.

Scientist looking through a microscope.

Image source: Getty Images.

Editas Medicine results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2018

Q1 2017

Year-Over-Year Growth

Collaboration and other research & development revenue

$3.9 million

$0.7 million

457.1%

GAAP net income (loss)

($30.9 million)

($31.1 million)

N/A

GAAP net income (loss) per share

($0.67)

($0.85)

N/A

Data source: Editas Medicine.

What happened with Editas Medicine this quarter?

  • The increase in collaboration and other R&D revenue was driven by a $2.9 million increase in revenue recognized under Editas' strategic alliance with Allergan, as well as a $0.3 million increase in reimbursable R&D expenses related to the adoption of new accounting standards at the start of the year.
  • R&D expenses increased 12% year over year to $21.3 million, while general and administrative expenses rose 15.4% to $14.2 million.
  • Ended the year with cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $359 million, up from $329.1 million last quarter and providing at least 24 months of funding for operating expenses.
  • The EDIT 101 drug candidate for treating Leber Congentital Amaurosis type 10 (LCA10), the leading cause of childhood blindness, is still on track for a mid-2018 investigational new drug (IND) application filing).
  • On Thursday, Editas also announced an expansion of its partnership with Celgene's Juno Therapeutics to develop and commercialize chimeric antigen receptor and engineered T cell receptor medicines. This includes Celgene's lead program for treating human paillomavirus-associated solid tumors. Under this expanded partnership, Editas will receive another $10 million in cash and be eligible for a fourth independent milestone and royalty stream.
  • Editas presented research data for its recurrent occular herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and Usher Syndrome type 2A (USH2A), showing CRISPR gene editing techniques were able to reduce HSV-1 viral load by 75%, and reduce corneal lesions by 91%.  
  • Continued to design a superior medicine for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. The latest data from this program will be presented at the upcoming American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) meeting in May.
  • Appointed Jim Mullen, former CEO of Biogen and Pathean N.V., as chairman of Editas' board of directors.

What management had to say 

CEO Katrine Bosley stated:

We made steady progress in advancing our pipeline of CRISPR medicines toward the clinic and in building the company overall. Our LCA10 program remains on track to file an IND by mid-2018, our leading experimental cell medicine in oncology is advancing toward an IND filing in our Celgene collaboration, and we have strong data in many of our earlier programs. In addition, we have significantly strengthened our Board of Directors with Jim Mullen joining as Chairman of the Board. All in all, 2018 is shaping up to be a transformative year for Editas and for the patients we aim to help.

Looking forward

As a reminder, Editas doesn't offer specific revenue or earnings guidance for each quarter. Rather it made strides toward fulfilling several of the goals for 2018 that management identified last quarter; LCA10 remains on track for its IND filing later this year, it offered additional preclinical proof-of-concept data on two other promising programs, and expanded one of its most significant strategic partnerships. And while Editas has plenty of work to do yet, I think the market is right to bid up the stock today.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Celgene. The Motley Fool recommends Editas Medicine. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.