With a single $5 million payment from a collaboration partner, the earnings portion of AnaptysBio Inc.'s (ANAB -2.42%) third-quarter report didn't contain a lot of details. On the development side, though, the company moved both of its clinical-stage candidates closer to the goal line while collecting plenty of capital to get the job done.
AnaptysBio Inc. results: The raw numbers
|Income from operations (loss)
|Earnings per share
What happened with AnaptysBio Inc. this quarter?
- As promised earlier, the company's ANB019 program began a placebo-controlled 50-patient trial with palmoplantar pustulosis patients. The study, titled Poplar, is expected to produce top-line data in the second half of 2019.
- AnaptysBio also delivered on its promise to begin a phase 2 trial with people who suffer from chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, a condition in need of new treatment options. Initial results from the 100-patient placebo-controlled study should be ready near the end of 2019.
- Running new studies will become expensive. To cover the costs, the company upped its outstanding share count 11.3% during the third quarter and raised $227.5 million in the process.
- Collaboration partner Tesaro Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRO) also contributed a $5 million milestone payment in return for beginning a phase 3 trial with TSR-042. If the lung cancer candidate eventually earns approval, Tesaro will give AnaptysBio a single-digit royalty percentage.
- AnaptysBio reported positive results from an ongoing phase 2a trial with its lead candidate, etokimab. Compared with the placebo group, patients given the IL-33 inhibitor showed an 8% improvement in the amount of air they can exhale after two days, and the effect appears durable. At the 64-day checkup, patients showed an 11% improvement.
- The company continued enrolling patients into a 300-patient phase 2b eczema trial with etokimab. Data is expected in the second half of 2019.
What management had to say
CEO Hamza Suria reminded us that a long, cold winter without much to report will be followed by several potential catalysts.
We continued to advance the clinical development of our wholly owned etokimab and ANB019 programs for severe inflammatory disease indications during the third quarter of 2018. Top-line data from our etokimab phase 2a trial in severe adult eosinophilic asthma patients demonstrated rapid and sustained improvement in forced exhaled volume in 1 second versus placebo, with corresponding reduction in blood eosinophil levels. We look forward to further advancement of our wholly owned pipeline with four additional readouts from ongoing clinical trials of etokimab and ANB019 during 2019.
Around 1% of people in the world's developed nations have asthma too severe to be treated with standard steroids alone. Although eczema is a large enough indication to drive blockbuster sales of etokimab on its own, successful asthma and nasal polyp studies would give the company a safety net that will help investors rest a little easier.
AnaptysBio finished the third quarter with a $512.4 million cash balance after losing $44.7 million during the first nine months of the year. Beginning a handful of midstage studies will cause the company to burn through a lot more cash in the quarters ahead, but it expects it has enough cash and investments on its balance sheet to see it through the end of 2020 at the very least.