ImmunoGen (IMGN) floundered throughout much of 2019, with the stock down more than 50% year to date by October. But some encouraging news from a late-stage clinical study evaluating mirvetuximab soravtansine renewed investors' enthusiasm soon afterward. ImmunoGen stock soared and kept the momentum going in subsequent months.

The biotech announced its 2019 fourth-quarter and full-year results before the market opened on Friday, fueling the fire even more. Here are the highlights from ImmunoGen's Q4 update.

Scientist in lab working with droppers

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

ImmunoGen reported Q4 revenue of $44.9 million, a 235% year-over-year jump. This easily beat analysts' average Q4 revenue estimate of $29.33 million.

Fourth-quarter net income came in at $4.8 million, or $0.03 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This was much better than ImmunoGen's GAAP net loss of $41.8 million, or $0.28 per share, in the prior-year period. It also topped the consensus Wall Street estimate of a net loss of $0.05 per share.

ImmunoGen ended the fourth quarter with cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $176.2 million. This was a decline from its cash stockpile of $262.3 million as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Behind the numbers

ImmunoGen reported license and milestone fees totaling $29.6 million in the fourth quarter. The company said that it recorded $7.3 million of a $7.5 million fee related to its license agreement with CytomX Therapeutics in December 2019 in Q4.

Another $15.3 million in revenue came from non-cash royalties. ImmunoGen's antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology has been used by several big drugmakers, with the company most notably receiving royalties from sales of Roche's Kadcyla.

ImmunoGen's restructuring last year helped the company control its spending. Research and development costs dropped to $26.1 million in Q4 from $43.7 million in the prior-year period. General and administrative costs were flat at $9.8 million.

Looking ahead

ImmunoGen expects that revenue for full-year 2020 will be between $60 million and $65 million. That's a lot higher than analysts' consensus full-year revenue estimate of $44.6 million. The company also anticipates operating expenses for full-year 2020 will be between $165 million and $170 million.

The most important thing to watch with biotech stocks like ImmunoGen, though, is pipeline progress. ImmunoGen is starting its pivotal clinical study for mirvetuximab in the first quarter of this year. It's also continuing enrollment in a confirmatory phase 3 study for the drug. The company expects to present initial data from its phase 1b study of a combination of mirvetuximab with Avastin in mid-2020, with updated data from this study coming in the fall.