Shares of Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA -2.55%) are sinking today, down by 13.3% as of 11:01 a.m. ET. The decline came after the biotech company provided its second-quarter update earlier in the morning.
Intellia reported Q2 collaboration revenue of $14 million, up from $6.6 million in the prior-year period. The company posted a net loss of $100.7 million, or $1.33 per diluted share. This result was slightly worse than the consensus estimate for net loss of $1.31 per share.
In addition to announcing its financial results, Intellia revealed that it plans to focus exclusively on developing ex vivo (out of the body) allogeneic (commonly referred to as off-the-shelf) cell therapies. As part of this move, the company said that it's discontinuing a clinical study evaluating experimental cell therapy NTLA-5001, which uses genetically engineered cells from patients. Intellia stated that it plans to pivot to an off-the-shelf version of the therapy that's currently in preclinical development.
Today's decline threatens to stop a solid comeback for Intellia. The genomics stock had fallen as much as 67% year to date but was up 33% over the past month prior to the Q2 update.
Investors appear to be more concerned about Intellia's decision to throw in the towel on developing ex vivo autologous therapies than they are about the small earnings miss. NTLA-5001 was one of only four clinical-stage programs for the company.
Intellia insisted that its decision wasn't based on negative safety or efficacy findings in the clinical trial evaluating NTLA-5001. Instead, the company said the focus on off-the-shelf cell therapy development was based on the potential to "consistently deliver a high-quality, readily available and persistent cell product for treatment of aggressive cancers."
Importantly, Intellia's change of direction doesn't impact its in vivo (inside the body) programs. The company expects to report key interim clinical results for NTLA-2001 in treating transthyretin amyloidosis and for NTLA-2002 in treating hereditary angioedema later this year.