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Prothena (PRTA) Q4 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Revenues Beat

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Clinical-stage neuroscience company, Prothena Corporation PRTA, reported encouraging results for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company reported a loss of 54 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 65 cents and the year-ago quarter’s loss of 56 cents.

Quarterly revenues came in at $0.26 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 28%. Revenues were up from $0.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues mainly came from the company’s collaboration with Roche Holdings RHHBY.

The company’s shares have gained 5.9% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 2.3%.

Quarter in Detail

R&D expenses were $15.5 million, down from $16.5 million in the year-ago quarter due to lower clinical trial costs.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses came in at $8.1 million, slightly up from $8 million in the year-ago quarter.

As of Dec 31, 2019, Prothena had $378.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash.

Pipeline Updates

The company 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 ongoing and data from the part I of the study are expected later in 2020.

In December 2019, Prothena also reported interim data from the first-in-human dosing in a phase I clinical study of PRX004 in patients with hereditary ATTR (hATTR) amyloidosis. The candidate was found to be generally safe and well tolerated and demonstrated pharmacokinetic profiles consistent with that of an immunoglobulin gamma 1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibody. Additional data from the dose-escalation and long-term extension portions of the study are expected to be reported in 2020.

Prothena has a global neuroscience research & development collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY 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 an undisclosed third. Prothena initiated the cell-line development of a lead candidate in the preclinical tau program in the second quarter of 2019. The company also initiated the cell-line development of a lead candidate in the proprietary preclinical Aβ (Amyloid beta) program in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Our Take

The narrower-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter was encouraging for Prothena. We expect investors’ focus to remain on pipeline updates, as the company has no approved product in its portfolio yet.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Prothena currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the biotech sector is Regeneron Corporation (REGN - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Regeneron’s earnings estimates have increased to $27.67 from $26.72 for 2020 in the past 60 days.

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