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What: Shares of Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ:SGMO) fell as much as 12% today after providing a clinical update at the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. The stock has since recovered slightly as investors have had a chance to digest the news.
So what: Sangamo provided several clinical updates at the meeting related to the trials that are currently being run using Sangamo's drug SB-728-T. The drug is currently being studied as a potential treatment against a variety of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, sickle-cell disease, and cancer.
This press release follows yesterday's update in which Sangamo and its partner Biogen Idec announced a decision to consolidate development paths for its zinc finger nuclease (ZFN)-mediated genome editing programs targeting beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. This consolidation, which Sangamo claims will lead to greater efficiency, will result in a delay of its Phase 1 clinical trial start date, which is now slated to begin in 2016.
Now what: As Sangamo has yet to turn a profit, it remains a higher-risk stock, and analysts are predicting that revenue is going to fall 10% in 2016. Still, with $196 million in cash and equivalents on the balance sheet, Sangamo appears to have ample near-term liquidity to meet its capital needs. Sangamo's drug is certainly interesting, but the company remains high-risk, and I'm personally going to stay away until Sangamo proves that it can generate a profit.