Editas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT - Free Report) incurred a loss of 69 cents per share in the second quarter of 2019, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents but narrower than the year-ago quarter’s loss of 82 cents.
Collaboration and other research and development revenues, comprising the company’s total revenues, came in at $2.3 million, down 68.9% year over year. Moreover, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6 million.
Editas has no approved product in its portfolio at the moment. The company generates collaboration revenues and other research and development revenues. Its collaboration revenues declined in the quarter due to lower revenues recognized under Editas’ collaboration with Celgene (CELG - Free Report) . Meanwhile, an out-license arrangement was entered into during the second quarter of 2018, which had generated some collaboration revenues in the year-ago quarter.
The company has a collaboration and licensing pact with Juno Therapeutics — now part of Celgene - to use the latter’s gene-editing approaches including CRISPR-Cas9 for developing engineered T cell medicines to tackle cancer.
This year so far, Editas’ stock has risen 8.3% against the industry’s decrease of 4.4%.
Quarter in Detail
In the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $23.6 million, down 27.8% from the year-ago period’s figure, mainly owing to lower spending associated with the sublicensing and success payment. General and administrative expenses were almost flat at $14.4 million.
Along with the earnings, Editas announced the appointment of Cynthia Collins as president and chief executive officer (CEO). Collins has been acting as the interim CEO since January when Katrine Bosley announced her decision to step down from the position.
The company’s lead pipeline candidate is EDIT-101 that uses CRISPR gene editing to treat Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 (LCA10) – a rare genetic illness that causes blindness.
Editas is developing EDIT-101 in partnership with Allergan (AGN - Free Report) . Both companies plan to initiate patient dosing in the phase I/II dose escalation study called Brilliance on EDIT-101 in LCA10 in the second half of 2019. The Brilliance study opened for patient enrolment in July.
Editas is also pursuing the development of CRISPR candidates for eye diseases other than LCA10, including Usher Syndrome type 2A (USH2A) and recurrent ocular Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) fibrosis. It expects to be ready for investigational new drug (IND) enabling activities for a USH2A program by the end of the year.
It is also designing novel medicines for non-malignant hematologic diseases such as sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. Editas has initiated IND enabling activities for EDIT-301, an experimental CRISPR medicine designed to treat sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia by editing the beta-globin locus.
Genomic editing using CRISPR technology to repair a defective genetic material that causes diseases is probably one of the most promising and exciting healthcare innovations seen in decades. There are only a handful of companies making medicines using this revolutionary technology. Other than Editas, companies such as CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP - Free Report) and Intellia Therapeutics are either planning to conduct or have already started clinical studies to develop curative CRISPR/Cas9-based medicines. The company has two CRISPR platforms, one using the Cas9 protein and the other, the Cpf1 protein.
Editas currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.