Ophthotech Corporation (OPHT - Free Report) reported a loss of 36 cents per share for the first quarter of 2018, narrower than a loss of $1.20 in the year-ago quarter.
With no approved products in its portfolio, Ophthotech derives revenues from milestone and other payments under collaborations. However, the company did not generate any revenues in the quarter. The company had reported $1.7 million in revenues in the year-ago period.
Ophthotech’s shares have underperformed the industry so far this year. Specifically, the company’s shares have lost 15.7% whereas the industry registered a decrease of 12.3%.
The company has initiated an innovative gene therapy program to discover and develop new treatments for ocular disease. Ophthotech has plans to evaluate promising gene therapy product candidates in collaboration with leading companies and academic institutions.
Quarter in Detail
Research and development expenses in the first quarter decreased 76% to $7.7 million, mainly due to termination of the Fovista development programs in wet age-related macular degeneration (“AMD”) and lower personnel costs.
General and administrative expenses decreased 57.1% from the year-ago period to $5.6 million due to lower personnel, operational and infrastructure cost.
With the failure of Fovista in two pivotal phase III studies, the company is focused on Zimura development programs. The company is developing Zimura in dry and wet AMD, Stargardt disease and idiopathic choroidal vasculopathy (“IPCV”).
In April 2018, the company announced the completion of enrollment of patients in a phase IIa study evaluating Zimura in combination with Roche’s (RHHBY - Free Report) Lucentis, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (”VEGF”) agent, for treating wet AMD patients who did not receive prior anti-VEGF treatment.
In January, Ophthotech initiated a phase IIb study for evaluating Zimura in autosomal recessive Stargardt disease. Top-line data is expected in 2020.
Top-line data from a phase IIa study on Zimura in combination with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ (REGN - Free Report) Eylea in IPCV is expected in the second half of 2019.
Apart from Zimura, Ophthotech is also focusing on gene therapy program. In February, the company initiated an innovative gene therapy program to discover and develop new treatments for ocular disease. Ophthotech has plans to evaluate promising gene therapy product candidates in collaboration with leading companies and academic institutions.
Ophthotech’s cash balance was $155 million as of Mar 31, 2018.
The company expects cash balance at 2018 end to be in the range of $112 million to $117 million, which includes costs related to the development of Zimura and initiation of gene therapy program.
Zacks Rank & Key Pick
Ophthotech currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ENTA - Free Report) is a better-ranked stock in the drugs sector, sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Enanta’s earnings per share estimates have significantly increased from 86 cents to $2.48 for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company came up with an average beat of 372%. The stock has surged 68.9% so far this year.
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