Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of central nervous system therapies based on its neural stem cell technology, reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015.
Clinical Program and Business Highlights
- The Company strengthened its executive team with the appointment of Richard Daly as President and Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Lloyd Jones as Chief Financial Officer and Andy Moniz as Vice President of Clinical Operations.
- In January 2016, the Company announced an initiative to pursue collaborations for its stem cell therapy programs to utilize additional expertise, expedite clinical and regulatory pathways and secure funding.
- Recently, the FDA approved the commencement of the NSI-189 Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.
“The FDA approval to commence our Phase 2 Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) trial is a meaningful milestone for the Company,” commented Richard Daly. “We believe NSI-189 may provide this large patient population with an alternative therapy without many of the typical side effects of current commercial drugs. Our strengthened team provides incremental expertise and we are committed to executing a diligently run trial to deliver data in the second half of 2017.”
Neurogenic Small Molecule Platform Clinical Development
Lead asset, NSI-189 Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)
- In late February 2016, the FDA approved the commencement of our NSI-189 Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of major depressive disorder. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, 220 subject study is expected to enroll the first subject in the second quarter of 2016. For information on the trial please visit https://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02695472.
Cell Therapy Platform Clinical Development
- In January 2016, Karl Johe, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, presented at the Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy World Conference. He concluded that the collective trial data analysis showed the cells consistently demonstrated biological activity in all three program indications: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic spinal cord injury (cSCI), and motor deficits due to ischemic stroke.
NSI-566 Phase 1 safety trial for the treatment of cSCI
- In January 2016, the Company reported preliminary six-month follow-up Phase 1 safety data on all four subjects. The stem cell treatment demonstrated feasibility and safety. A self-reported ability to contract some muscles below the level of injury was confirmed via clinical and electrophysiological follow-up examinations in one of the four patients treated. There was no change in the clinical status of the three other patients. This study was completed with the collaboration of the UCSD School of Medicine, supported by the UCSD Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center; substantially all of the clinical costs of this study have been funded by grants arranged through the University.
NSI-566 Phase 1 / 2 safety trial for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- In September 2015, nine-month Phase 2 and combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 data on the NSI-566 trial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was presented at the American Neurological Association Annual Meeting by the principal investigator, Eva Feldman, MD, PhD, Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute and Director of Research of the ALS Clinic at the University of Michigan Health. The data showed that the intraspinal transplantation of the cells was safe and well tolerated. In January 2016, the Company announced that it is in discussions with various governmental, State and non-profit organizations regarding funding grants for the next trial; the initiation of the trial will be dependent upon significant funding from such sources.
NSI-566 Phase 1 safety trial for the treatment of motor deficits in stroke
- The Company completed dosing the second of three planned cohorts in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial at BaYi Brain Hospital in Beijing. The trial is being conducted by Neuralstem China, at BaYi Brain Hospital in Beijing, China.
Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2015
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments on hand was approximately $12.2 million at December 31, 2015, compared to approximately $27.5 million at December 31, 2014. The decrease was associated with cash used in our operations.
In the year ended December 31, 2015, we reported a net loss of approximately $20.9 million or $0.23 per share, compared to a loss of approximately $22.6 million or $0.26 per share in the year ended December 31, 2014.
Our operating loss in the year ended December 31, 2015 was approximately $19.2 million, compared to a loss of approximately $17.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2014. The increase in operating loss was primarily attributable to an increase of approximately $4.3 million in research and development expenses partially offset by a decrease of general and administrative expenses of approximately $2.6 million.
The increase in research and development expenses was primarily attributable to an increase in headcount, and an increase clinical, pre-clinical and CMC expenses, all related to the ramp-up of our pre-clinical and clinical trial efforts and are expected to continue into subsequent periods.
The decrease in general and administrative expenses was primarily attributable to a decrease in non-cash stock based compensation expense and a decrease in legal, consulting and other external advisory fees. These were partially offset by an increase in personnel and related expenses associated with changes in headcount.
We had 92.0 million and 87.8 million common shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. (Original Source)
Shares of Neuralstem closed today at $0.979, down $0.011 or -1.08%. CUR has a 1-year high of $2.80 and a 1-year low of $0.52. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.88 and its 200-day moving average is $1.12.
On the ratings front, Brean Capital analyst Jonathan Aschoff reiterated a Buy rating on CUR, with a price target of $8, in a report issued on February 17. The current price target implies an upside of 742.1% from current levels. According to TipRanks.com, Aschoff has a total average return of -12.4%, a 34.3% success rate, and is ranked #3696 out of 3724 analysts.
Neuralstem Inc is a biotechnology company. It is engaged in the development and commercialization of treatments for central nervous system disease based on transplanting human neural stem cells and the use of small molecule drugs.