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Prothena (PRTA) Q4 Earnings Beat, Pipeline Progress in Focus

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Clinical-stage company Prothena Corporation (PRTA - Free Report) reported a loss of 71 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 74 cents per share. In the year-ago quarter, the company reported a loss of 77 cents.

Total revenues came in at $1.2 million in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 324.64%. Revenues in the quarter included collaboration revenues from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY - Free Report) . In the year-ago quarter, the company generated revenues of $0.4 million. 

The company’s shares have surged 50.8% in the year so far against the industry’s decline of 38.8%.

 

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Quarter in Detail

R&D expenses were $22.1 million, up from $20.8 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to higher personnel expenses, increased clinical trial expenses primarily related to the birtamimab and PRX005 programs.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $12.2 million, up from $9.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

As of Dec 31, 2021, Prothena had $580.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash and no debt.

Prothena Corporation plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Prothena Corporation plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Prothena Corporation plc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Prothena Corporation plc Quote

2021 Results

Prothena reported $200.6 million in 2021 compared with $0.9 million in 2020. Net loss per share in 2021 was $1.38 compared with net loss per share of $2.78 in 2020.

Pipeline Updates

Prothena is advancing an early-stage pipeline of programs for a number of potential neurological indications with Bristol Myers.  PRX005 — a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) — is an investigational antibody that targets tau, a protein implicated in diseases including AD, frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other tauopathies. The company has received $80 million option payment from Bristol Myers to execute the U.S. license agreement in 2021.  A phase I study was initiated in 2021, and top-line data is expected in 2022.

Prothena is also evaluating PRX012, an investigational high-potency monoclonal antibody targeting a key epitope at the N-terminus of amyloid beta (Aβ) for the treatment of AD.  An investigational new drug application (IND) is expected in the ongoing quarter.

The company is also developing a dual Aβ-Tau vaccine — a potential prevention and treatment for AD — to target key epitopes within Aβ and tau proteins for promoting amyloid clearance as well as blockade pathogenic tau interaction. An IND for the vaccine is anticipated in 2023.

The company is also evaluating prasinezumab in collaboration with Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. PRTA earned $60 million milestone payment in 2021 upon dosing the first patient in the global phase IIb PADOVA study for prasinezumab from Roche.

It is also evaluating birtamimab, a potential treatment for AL amyloidosis.  It reached a Special Protocol Assessment agreement with FDA and initiated confirmatory phase III AFFIRM-AL study of birtamimab in Mayo Stage IV patients with AL amyloidosis in 2021.

Novo Nordisk (NVO - Free Report) has acquired Prothena’s clinical-stage antibody, PRX004, and broader ATTR amyloidosis program. Prothena is eligible to receive a total aggregate of up to $1.23 billion and has received $60 million upfront payment from NVO in 2021. Novo Nordisk is expected to initiate a phase II trial in the first half of 2022 on PRX004 for the treatment of ATTR cardiomyopathy.

Our Take

The company reported a narrower loss and revenues beat estimates in the fourth quarter. The pipeline progress with its AD candidates is impressive and promises potential.

Prothena currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here