Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (CLDX - Free Report) incurred second-quarter 2018 loss of 11 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 14 cents and the year-ago loss of 23 cents.
Total revenues in the quarter declined 27.8% year over year to $2.8 million. However, it marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.7 million. The year-over-year decline was due to decrease in contract revenues from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
Shares of the company fell 1.6% in after-hours trading on Aug 8, following the earnings announcement. The stock’s performance has been disappointing so far this year. It has declined 83.2% compared with the industry’s 4.6% decrease.
Research and development expenses were down 14.4% year over year to $21.4 million during the quarter mainly due to lower personnel costs and decline in clinical study related expenses. General and administrative expenses were $5.6 million, down 13.8% year over year mainly attributable to lower personnel and marketing expense.
As of Jun 30, 2018, Celldex had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $114 million compared with $123.2 million as of Mar 31, 2018. The biotech company’s weakened cash position was due to higher operating expense including costs related to discontinuation of glembatumumab vedotin development, partially offset by net proceeds raised from sales of its common stock under a contract with Cantor.
Celldex expects that its cash position as of the end of June plus anticipated net proceeds from future sales of its common stock under the agreement with Cantor will be adequate to fund working capital requirements as well as planned operations through 2020.
Discontinued Clinical Studies
In April 2018, the company announced the failure of its antibody drug conjugate (“ADC”) candidate, glembatumumab vedotin in phase IIb METRIC study, evaluating it in breast cancer. Following the failure, the company decided to discontinue the development of the candidate across all indications, including metastatic melanoma.
Apart from glembatumumab vedotin, Celldex also discontinued the development of early phase ADC candidate, CDX-014 and antibody fusion protein candidate, CDX-1401 this year. The company took this decision for better allocation of its resources.
Celldex is now focusing on development of CDX-1140 and CDX-3379. Varlilumab and CDX-301 will be evaluated externally through investigator-sponsored studies and internally in combination studies. There are several preclinical candidates in its pipeline, including CDX-0159.
The company is evaluating varlilumab in a phase I/II study in combination with Bristol-Myers’ (BMY - Free Report) Opdivo in five indications namely colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma and glioblastoma. However, data available so far does not provide a clear path for the development of the combination regimen.
A phase II study is currently evaluating CDX-3379, a human monoclonal antibody, in combination with Eli Lilly’s (LLY - Free Report) Erbitux for the treatment of advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer.
The company has completed three dosing cohorts in the phase I study evaluating CDX-1140 in several solid tumors and is currently enrolling patients in the fourth cohort. The study protocol was amended during the quarter to add a new cohort to evaluate CDX-1140 in combination with CDX-301 or varlilumab. An investigator-initiated study is evaluating CDX-301 in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider
Celldex currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Seattle Genetics (SGEN - Free Report) is a better-ranked stock in the pharma sector, carrying a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Seattle Genetics’ 2018 loss per share estimates narrowed from $1.81 to 83 cents and from 81 cents to 39 cents in the last 30 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 12.93%. The company’s shares have rallied 34.8% year to date.
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