Oncothyreon Inc (USA) (NASDAQ:ONTY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of therapeutic products that can improve the lives and outcomes of patients with cancer, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the year and quarter ended December 31, 2015.

“2015 was a significant year for Oncothyreon, with the company reporting encouraging data from two combination trials of ONT-380 demonstrating that this product candidate may be impactful on HER2-positive breast cancer patients, including those with brain metastases – a patient population in desperate need of new treatment options,” said Christopher S. Henney, Chairman and interim CEO of Oncothyreon. “We believe our clinical results to date provided a strong foundation for us to advance ONT-380 into our recently initiated randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial in combination with Herceptin and Xeloda, which includes enrolling patients with progressing central nervous system disease.”

Corporate Update & Recent Highlights

Clinical Development:

  • ONT-380 Phase 2 Combination Trial Underway in Patients with HER2-Positive Breast Cancer.  The randomized, double-blind, placebo control trial is evaluating ONT-380 in combination with Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and Xeloda® (capecitabine). ONT-380 is an oral, HER2-selective, central nervous system (CNS)-active tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The trial is targeted to enroll approximately 180 heavily pretreated patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer who present with or without brain metastases.  Building on encouraging Phase 1b results, the primary and secondary endpoint objectives are designed to measure ONT-380’s contribution on both systemic and CNS disease, an area of unmet need for patients.
  • Data from Ongoing ONT-380 Phase 1b Combination Trials Show Objective, Durable Responses and Favorable Tolerability Profile. During 2015, data from two ongoing trials of ONT-380 were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).
  • ONT-380 in combination with Xeloda and/or Herceptin:
    • This Phase 1b trial enrolled patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer with progression following prior treatment with Herceptin and Kadcyla® (ado-trastuzumab emtansine or T-DM1).  In addition to patients without a prior history of CNS disease, patients with untreated, asymptomatic CNS disease and patients with progressing CNS disease after prior local therapy were allowed to enroll in the trial and were followed for responses both systemically and in the CNS.  Overall, ONT-380 in combination with Xeloda, Herceptin or both Xeloda and Herceptin has been well tolerated.  As reported at ASCO 2015, in a total of 32 patients treated with these combinations, the majority of adverse events were Grade 1 or 2 in severity, with no reported Grade 3 diarrhea. As reported at SABCS 2015, the objective response rate across treatment groups was 42 percent and the CNS response rate was 33 percent, providing encouraging data to support moving forward with a follow-on Phase 2 study of ONT-380 in combination with Xeloda and Herceptin.
  • ONT-380 in combination with Kadcyla:
    • This Phase 1b trial enrolled patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer with progression following prior treatment with Herceptin and a taxane. Patients may have received prior treatment with Perjeta® (pertuzumab) and Tykerb® (lapatinib). Patients with or without brain metastases were eligible. This trial has completed enrollment, but is ongoing with patients continuing to receive treatment. Clinical data from this trial were presented at SABCS 2014 and 2015, and at ASCO 2015. Overall, the combination of ONT-380 and Kadcyla was clinically well tolerated in 50 patients treated at the maximum tolerated dose of ONT-380, with the majority of adverse events either Grade 1 or Grade 2 in severity. Grade 3 diarrhea was reported in 4 percent of patients. Durable ( > 6 months) systemic and CNS responses and disease stabilization were seen, with an objective response rate of 41 percent and a CNS response rate of 33 percent.

Internal Research & Discovery Collaborations:

  • Research Collaboration Moving Chk1 Inhibitors Forward. During 2015, Oncothyreon continued preclinical activities to develop a small molecule against the checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) target in collaboration with Sentinel Oncology.  IND-enabling studies are expected to begin in 2017.
  • Protocell Research Program Progressing. During 2015, Oncothyreon continued research on protocells, a novel nanoparticle platform technology that may enable the targeted delivery of a variety of therapeutic agents.


  • Expanded Leadership Team, CEO Search Underway. In January 2016, Oncothyreon announced the appointment of Christopher S. Henney, the company’s chairman, as interim CEO.  The company’s comprehensive search for a new CEO is actively ongoing.  Additionally, Oncothyreon appointed three new members to its Board of Directors:  Steven P. James in March 2015 and Mark Lampert and Gwen Fyfe, M.D. in January 2016.

Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights

  • Cash, cash equivalents and investments totaled $56.4 million as of December 31, 2015, compared to $63.7 million at December 31, 2014, a decrease of $7.3 million, or 11.5%. The decrease was primarily attributable to $28.9 million of cash used in operations during the year endedDecember 31, 2015, partially offset by the net proceeds of $22.4 million from the closing of concurrent but separate underwritten offerings of common stock and Series B convertible preferred stock in February 2015.
  • Research and development expenses for the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased by $19.1 million to $6.9 million from $26.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Full year research and development expenses decreased by $18.4 million to $23.5 million in 2015 from $41.9 million in 2014.  The fourth quarter and full year decrease in expense was primarily the result of the one-time upfront payment made to Array Biopharma inDecember 2014.
  • General and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter of 2015 increased by $0.4 million to $2.3 million, from $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Full year 2015 general and administrative expenses were $9.3 million, an increase of $0.3 million from $9.0 million in 2014. This increase was primarily due to patent expenses related to our product candidates.
  • Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2015 was $32.6 million, or $0.34 per basic and diluted share, compared with a net loss of $50.0 million, or $0.64 per basic and diluted share, for the comparable period in 2014. Net loss for the three months ended December 31, 2015 was$9.1 million, or $0.10 per basic and diluted share, compared with a net loss of $27.6 million, or $0.30 per basic and diluted share, for the comparable period in 2014. The decrease in net loss for the year and quarter was primarily attributable to a $20.0 million upfront paymentOncothyreon made to Array BioPharma upon entering into an exclusive license agreement in December 2014. The decrease in net loss was partly offset by slightly higher general and administrative expenses and lower non-cash income from the change in the fair value of our warrant liability.

Financial Guidance

Oncothyreon believes the following financial guidance to be correct as of the date provided.  Oncothyreon is providing this guidance as a convenience to investors and assumes no obligation to update it.

Oncothyreon currently expects operating expenses in 2016 to be higher than in 2015. This increase will primarily be related to expenditures associated with the Phase 2 trial of ONT-380. Oncothyreon currently expects cash used in operations in 2016 to be approximately $38.0 million to$40.0 million.  With cash, cash equivalents and investments of $56.4 million as of December 31, 2015, Oncothyreon estimates that its cash, cash-equivalents and investments will be sufficient to fund operations for at least the next 12 months. (Original Source)

Shares of Oncothyreon closed today at $1.16, up $0.05 or 4.50%. ONTY has a 1-year high of $4.69 and a 1-year low of $0.90. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.14 and its 200-day moving average is $2.40.

On the ratings front, Oncothyreon has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 11, Cantor analyst Mara Goldstein reiterated a Hold rating on ONTY, with a price target of $3, which implies an upside of 168% from current levels. Separately, on December 23, Jefferies Co.’s Gena Wang initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $4.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Mara Goldstein and Gena Wang have a total average return of -16.7% and -25.9% respectively. Goldstein has a success rate of 28.6% and is ranked #3687 out of 3724 analysts, while Wang has a success rate of 14.3% and is ranked #3553.

Oncothyreon Inc is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. It develops and commercialize synthetic vaccines & small molecules that treat the lives & outcomes of cancer patients.