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Intellia (NTLA) Q4 Loss Wider Than Expected, Revenues Up Y/Y

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Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA - Free Report) incurred a loss of $1.09 per share for fourth-quarter 2021, wider than the year-ago loss of 69 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 91 cents.

Intellia’s total revenues, which comprise collaboration revenues, came in at $12.9 million for the fourth quarter compared with $6.6 million reported in the year-ago period. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.6 million.

The significant year-over-year increase in revenues was on account of revenues of $5.8 million recorded by the company from its joint venture with AvenCell.

Quarter in Detail

For the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $71.2 million, up 86.1% from the year-ago figure due to increased costs for developing the company’s lead programs.

General and administrative expenses also surged 105.4% year over year to $22.1 million due to higher employee-related costs.

As of Dec 31, 2021, NTLA had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1,086 million compared with $1,148.7 million on Sep 30, 2021.

Full-Year Results

For 2021, Intellia generated revenues of $33.1 million, reflecting a significant year-over-year decline from the year-ago figure of $58 million.

For the same period, the company reported earnings of $3.78 per share versus the year-ago loss of $2.40.

Pipeline Updates

Intellia remains focused on developing curative therapeutics using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The company is evaluating its lead in-vivo genome-editing candidate, NTLA-2001, in a two-part phase I study for treating transthyretin amyloidosis with polyneuropathy. The company plans to present interim data from part 1 of the study on Feb 28 and start part 2 in first-quarter 2022.

Shares of Intellia were up 9.3% on Thursday, probably as investors expect positive updates from this study.

NTLA has risen 52.2% in the past year against the industry’s 39.2% decline.

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Please note that NTLA-2001 is part of Intellia’s co-development and co-promotion agreement with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Free Report) . While NTLA is the lead party for NTLA-2001, Regeneron shares 25% of the development costs and commercial profits. Both Intellia and Regeneron are also developing therapies for hemophilia A and B.

Intellia initiated a phase I/II study evaluating another pipeline candidate NTLA-2002 for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (“HAE”) in December 2021. NTLA-2002 aims to prevent HAE attacks by suppressing plasma kallikrein activity. Interim data from the study is expected in second-half 2022.

NTLA-5001 is the company’s first wholly-owned ex-vivo genome editing candidate for the treatment of cancer. In fourth-quarter 2021, Intellia started patient screening in a phase I/IIa study evaluating NTLA-5001 in adults with persistent or recurrent AML who have previously received first-line therapy.

Alongside its Q4 earnings release, Intellia announced that it nominated two new CRISPR-based development candidates to enter clinical studies. NTLA nominated NTLA-2003, an in-vivo candidate, for the treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD)-associated liver disease. Intellia also nominated its first ex-vivo allogenic CAR-T therapy NTLA-6001 for the treatment of CD30-expressing hematologic cancers. NTLA is advancing both the candidates toward an IND filing so as to initiate clinical studies.

The company is also expanding its pipeline with acquisitions and collaborations. Earlier this month, NTLA acquired a closely-held Rewrite Therapeutics to expand its gene-editing technology platforms and partnered with ONK Therapeutics to develop new therapies for cancer. Last month, NTLA announced a partnership with Kyverna Therapeutics to develop an allogeneic CD19 CAR T-cell therapy to treat a variety of B-cell-mediated auto-immune diseases.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Intellia currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include Arbutus Biopharma (ABUS - Free Report) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Arbutus Biopharma’s loss per share estimates for 2022 have narrowed from 63 cents to 61 cents in the past 30 days. Earnings of ABUS beat estimates in one of the last four quarters, met the mark once and missed the same on the other two occasions, delivering a negative surprise of 3.6%, on average.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ earnings per share estimates for 2022 have increased from $13.35 to $14.33 in the past 30 days. The same for 2023 has risen from $14.12 to $15.31 in the past 30 days. Shares of VRTX have risen 8.1% in the past year.

Earnings of Vertex Pharmaceuticals beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, with the average being 10%.

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