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Why Is Prothena (PRTA) Up 8.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Prothena (PRTA - Free Report) . Shares have added about 8.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Prothena due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Prothena Q2 Earnings Lag Estimates, Pipeline in Focus

Prothena reported a loss of $0.98 per share for the second quarter of 2018, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.88 and the year-ago loss of $0.46.

Quarterly revenues came in at $0.28 million, beating the Zacks Consensus by 29.77%. However, revenues reported were down from $26.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues mainly came from its collaboration with Roche Holdings.

Quarter in Detail

R&D expenses were $31.4 million, down 7.6% year over year, primarily due to lower product manufacturing expenses and a lesser extent lower clinical trial costs.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses were relatively flat at $11.0 million.
As of June 30, 2018, Prothena had $490.3 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash (including the $100 million upfront payment received from Celgene in April 2018).

Pipeline Updates

Prothena has discontinued the development of its lead pipeline candidate, NEOD001. The candidate, an antibody, was being evaluated for the treatment of AL amyloidosis. A phase IIb study, PRONTO, did not meet its primary or secondary endpoints. Hence, the company asked the independent data monitoring committee (“DMC”) of the phase III VITAL study to review a futility analysis of the ongoing VITAL study. Thereafter, the DMC recommended discontinuation of the VITAL study.

Hence, the company decided to discontinue all studies for the development of NEOD001 including the VITAL study and the open label extension studies.

On the other hand, Prothena is evaluating prasinezumab (PRX002/RG7935) in collaboration with Roche for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. A phase II study, PASADENA, which is being conducted by Roche among patients suffering from Parkinson`s disease is continuing enrollment. Data from the study is expected in 2020.

Alongside, Prothena initiated a phase I study on PRX004 in patients with ATTR amyloidosis in the second quarter of 2018. The study continues to enroll patients. Prothena expects pharmacodynamic data from the lower doses of this study in 2019.

Prothena also entered into a global neuroscience research & development collaboration with Celgene Corporation (CELG) to develop new therapies for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration is focused on three targets implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases inducing tau, TDP-43 and a third that is undisclosed. Per the terms, Prothena received a $100 million upfront payment and a $50 million equity investment from Celgene. The company is eligible to receive future potential exercise payments and milestone payments for each licensed program. Prothena is also eligible to receive additional royalties on net sales of any resulting marketed products. The preclinical tau program is expected to initiate cell line development of a lead candidate in 2019. In addition, the preclinical Aβ (Amyloid beta) program is also expected to initiate cell line development of a lead candidate in 2019.

 

 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates. The consensus estimate has shifted -117.18% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Prothena has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the lowest quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Prothena has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.




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