Endocyte, Inc. (ECYT - Free Report) reported a fourth-quarter 2016 loss of 26 cents per share, wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 25 cents and the year-ago loss of 23 cents. Collaboration revenues, on the other hand, remained flat at $0.012 million during the quarter.
Endocyte’s share price has increased 2.7% year to date, while the Zacks classified Medical-Drugs industry gained 6.4%.
Research and development (R&D) expenses were up 28.2% year over year to $8.2 million mainly due to increase in expenses related to the EC1169 phase I trial, including drug manufacturing expenses.
General and administrative expenses were down 13.9% to $3.1 million due to lower compensation expense.
Endocyte is focused on the development of two candidates, EC1456 and EC1169, of which both are currently in phase I studies.
The company has initiated the expansion phase of the study on EC1456 in select folate receptor-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients, identified by the companion imaging agent etarfolatide. A dose of 6.0 mg/m2 has been established as the maximum twice a week dose and is being used in the expansion phase of the study.
Patients included in this expansion phase of the trial will have received first-line chemotherapy and may have also been treated with anti-PD-1 therapy. The company is also conducting an ovarian cancer surgical study to assess various attributes of the drug release within targeted tumors.
Meanwhile, EC1169 is being evaluated in a phase I study for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The company is currently enrolling patients in the expansion phase of the EC1169 trial in up to 50 second-line chemotherapy and up to 50 taxane-naïve metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients at a maximum clinical once per week dose of 6.5 mg/m2..
Efficacy and safety data from the expansion cohorts for both EC1456 and EC1169 will be reported at medical conferences in the first half of 2017.
The company is also nearing completion of preclinical work required to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for EC2629 which is the company’s first candidate to target disease cells and simultaneously impact the tumor micro environment by shutting down tumors associated with macrophages. The company expects to file an IND for EC2629 by mid 2017.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Endocyte is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. Other favorably ranked stocks in the health care sector include include Heska Corp. (HSKA - Free Report) , Retrophin, Inc. (RTRX - Free Report) and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS - Free Report) . While Heska and Retrophin carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Celgene carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Heska’s earnings estimates increased from $1.53 to $1.65 for 2017 and from $1.90 to $2.01 for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in all of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 291.54%. Its share price increased 32.1% year to date.
Retrophin’s loss estimates narrowed from 85 cents 72 cents for 2017 and from 67 cents to 53 cents for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 80.55%. Its share price increased 2.2% year to date.
Celgene’s earnings estimates increased from $6.48 to $6.60 for 2017 and from $8.15 to $8.16 for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 5.08%. Its share price increased 7.6% year to date.
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