Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT), a leader in developing targeted small molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) and companion imaging agents for personalized therapy, today announced financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2015, and provided a clinical update.

“We have successfully moved both EC1456, a folate-targeted tubulysin, and EC1169, a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted tubulysin, into the fifth cohorts of their respective dose escalation trials,” said Ron Ellis, Endocyte’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re evaluating both drugs in two different dosing schedules, which will inform our approach to expanding these trials as we reach the maximum tolerated dose. We look forward to reporting data from the Phase 1 dose escalation trials at upcoming medical conferences, and beginning the expansion phase of these trials in the second half of 2015.”

The fifth dosing cohorts now being evaluated are administered on three-week schedules with the third week being a rest week:

  • EC1456 (folate-targeted tubulysin)
    • Weekly dose 4.5mg / m2
    • Twice per week dose 2.5mg / m2
  • EC1169 (PSMA-targeted tubulysin)
    • Weekly dose of 1.0mg / m2
    • Three times per week dose 0.80mg / m2

“We were also pleased to welcome David Mozley, MD to the team, as vice president of imaging. We first worked with Dr. Mozley when he was at Merck where he championed and shaped our development of EC20 (etarfolatide) as part of that collaboration,” added Mr. Ellis. “His expertise and passion for imaging as a methodology to select patients will help ensure we optimize its use in our EC1456 and EC1169 clinical development and beyond.”

First Quarter 2015 Financial Results

Endocyte reported a net loss of $10.9 million, or $0.26 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of 2015, compared to a net loss of $3.1 million, or $0.09 per basic and diluted share, for the same period in 2014.

Research and development expenses were $6.6 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $13.0 million for the same period in 2014. No expenses for the PROCEED trial of vintafolide in ovarian cancer were recorded during the first quarter of 2015 as all remaining expenses were recognized in the second quarter of 2014 when the trial was terminated. The remaining decrease in expenses was driven by a reduction in TARGET trial expenses as this trial is nearing completion and a reduction in manufacturing expenses.

General and administrative expenses were $4.4 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $7.5 million for the same period in 2014. The decrease in expenses was primarily attributable to ceasing all commercial activities following the withdrawal of the marketing applications in Europe.

Cash, cash equivalents and investments were $196.8 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $206.8 million at December 31, 2014, and $131.5 million at March 31, 2014.

Financial Expectations

The Company reiterated its expectation that its 2015 year-end cash balance will exceed $155 million. Spending is expected to increase from the first half of 2015 to the second half as the trials for EC1456 and EC1169 are expanded once the maximum tolerated doses are determined. (Original Source)

Shares of Endocyte closed today at $5.77, up $0.03 or 0.52%. ECYT has a 1-year high of $9.35 and a 1-year low of $5.01. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $6.16 and its 200-day moving average is $6.00.

On the ratings front, Endocyte has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 3, Wedbush analyst David Nierengarten reiterated a Buy rating on ECYT, with a price target of $12, which implies an upside of 107.6% from current levels. Separately, on March 2, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Daniel Brims reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $21.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, David Nierengarten and Daniel Brims have a total average return of 45.5% and -6.4% respectively. Nierengarten has a success rate of 60.5% and is ranked #16 out of 3594 analysts, while Brims has a success rate of 30.0% and is ranked #3318.

Endocyte Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.