Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO) reported its second quarter 2015 financial results and accomplishments.

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2015, Sangamo reported a consolidated net loss of $12.1 million, or $0.17 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.0 million, or $0.10 per share, for the same period in 2014. As of June 30, 2015, the Company had cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and interest receivable of $218.6 million.

Revenues for the second quarter of 2015 were $8.4 million, compared to $10.4 million for the same period in 2014. Second quarter 2015 revenues were generated from the Company’s collaboration agreements with Shire International GmbH (Shire), Biogen Inc. (Biogen), enabling technology agreements and research grants. The revenues recognized for the second quarter of 2015 consisted of $7.8 million in collaboration agreements and $0.6 million in research grants, compared to $9.7 million and$0.7 million, respectively, for the same period in 2014.

The decrease in collaboration agreement revenues was primarily due to a decrease in revenues under the Company’s collaboration and license agreement with Shire, partially offset by an increase in revenues from the collaboration and licensing agreement with Biogen. In the second quarter of 2015, Sangamo recognized $3.9 million of revenues related to research services performed under the collaboration agreement with Shire, and $1.7 million of revenues related to research services performed under the collaboration agreement with Biogen. In addition, pursuant to the agreements entered into with Shire in January 2012and Biogen in January 2014, Sangamo received upfront payments of $13.0 million and $20.0 million, respectively. These payments are being recognized on a straight-line basis over the initial six-year research term for Shire and approximately 40 months for Biogen. The Company recognized $0.5 million of the Shire upfront payment and $1.5 million of the Biogen upfront payment as revenue for the second quarter of 2015.

Research and development expenses were $15.6 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to $13.5 million for the same period in 2014. The increase in research and development expenses was primarily due to the expansion of the technical operations group in order to manage third-party manufacturing relationships, improve internal process development and enhance the Company’s overall manufacturing capabilities. This expansion resulted in increased personnel expenses, including stock-based compensation, due to increased headcount as well as higher facilities and lab supply expenses to support operations.

General and administrative expenses were $5.0 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to $4.0 million for the same period in 2014. The increase was primarily due to increases in professional services expenses and personnel-related expenses, including stock-based compensation.

Total operating expenses for the second quarter of 2015 were $20.6 million, compared to $17.4 million for the same period in 2014.

Six Months Results
For the six months ended June 30, 2015, the consolidated net loss was $17.4 million, or $0.25 per share, compared to a consolidated net loss of $14.6 million, or $0.22 per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2014. Revenues were $21.8 millionfor the first half of 2015, compared to $18.5 million for the same period in 2014. Total operating expenses were $40.3 millionfor the first half of 2015, compared to $33.2 million for the first half of 2014.

Recent Events

  • Consolidation of ZFP Therapeutic Strategy for Hemoglobinopathies Program in Beta-Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease.In May 2015 Sangamo announced the consolidation of development paths for its zinc finger nuclease (ZFN)-mediated genome editing programs targeting beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease (SCD), which are being developed under the agreement with Biogen. This decision, made by the Biogen-Sangamo Joint Steering Committee, was based on preclinical data that support the development of a second generation approach (BCL11A Enhancer strategy) to increase levels of fetal globin as a potentially curative strategy for these diseases. We expect to file new Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for these programs in 2016.
  • Presentation of Data at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). Sangamo presented eighteen abstracts, including featured presentations in the Presidential Symposium and Clinical Trial Spotlight session, at the 18TH Annual ASGCT Meeting held inMay 2015. The presentations included data from Sangamo’s therapeutic and research programs in HIV/AIDS, hemoglobinopathies, lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) and other monogenic diseases, cancer immunotherapy, and advancements in the Company’s delivery technology.
    • Updated data were presented from subjects treated in Cohort 3* of Sangamo’s SB-728-1101 clinical trial, who received a T-cell product containing both CCR5-modified CD4 and CD8 T-cells. Two of the three subjects have demonstrated significant control of viral load during a treatment interruption (TI) from antiretroviral therapy (ART), one to levels that are quantifiable but considered to render the subject non-infectious and one who demonstrated a one log drop from peak viral load after a delayed onset of viremia. Both subjects remain off ART and on TI.
    • Sangamo scientists also presented new preclinical data from the hemoglobinopathies program, partnered with Biogen, demonstrating the effectiveness of knocking out the BCL11A Enhancer in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to increase fetal globin levels specifically in red blood cell precursors.
    • Additionally, data from the Company’s proprietary ZFP Therapeutic programs in LSDs provided proof of concept for Sangamo’s In Vivo Protein Replacement Platform (IVPRP).  The data demonstrated durable expression of functional enzyme sufficient to correct biomarkers of disease in mouse models of MPS I (Hurler syndrome) and MPS II (Hunter syndrome).
  • Internal Organization. Sangamo promoted Michael Holmes, Ph.D., to Vice President of Research from Vice President of Research-Genome Editing.  Dr. Holmes, who has been with the company for fourteen years, is a co-developer of Sangamo’s ZFN genome editing platform and currently directs the Company’s IVPRP programs.  In addition, Curt Herberts has been promoted to Vice President of Corporate Development from Senior Director of Corporate Development and Strategy.  Mr. Herberts has responsibility for implementation of Sangamo’s corporate development strategy including in-licensing of complementary technologies and negotiating therapeutic collaborations and partnerships.

Financial Guidance for 2015
The Company reiterates its earlier guidance as follows:

  • Cash and Investments: Sangamo expects that its cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities will be at least $180 million at the end of 2015, inclusive of research funding from Biogen and research funding and certain milestone payments from Shire, but exclusive of funds arising or received from any additional new collaborations or partnerships, equity financings or other new sources.
  • Revenues: Sangamo expects that revenues will be in the range of $60 million to $70 million in 2015, inclusive of research funding from Biogen and research funding and certain milestone payments from Shire.
  • Operating Expenses: Sangamo expects that operating expenses will be in the range of $100 million to $110 million for 2015. (Original Source)

Shares of Sangamo Biosciences closed today at $9.24, up $0.05 or 0.54%. SGMO has a 1-year high of $19.25 and a 1-year low of $8.57. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $10.09 and its 200-day moving average is $13.29.

On the ratings front, Sangamo has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 4, Piper Jaffray analyst Charles Duncan maintained a Buy rating on SGMO, with a price target of $17, which represents a potential upside of 84.4% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on May 18, BMO’s Jim Birchenough reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $19.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Charles Duncan and Jim Birchenough have a total average return of 17.2% and 40.9% respectively. Duncan has a success rate of 58.5% and is ranked #375 out of 3724 analysts, while Birchenough has a success rate of 64.7% and is ranked #14.

The street is mostly Bullish on SGMO stock. Out of 4 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $22.00, which represents a potential upside of 138.6% from where the stock is currently trading.

Sangamo BioSciences Inc is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the research, development & commercialization of engineered DNA-binding proteins for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for unmet medical needs.