Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR), a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its unique human neural stem cell-derived platform to identify and develop novel neurogenic therapies for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), today reported its financial results and business update for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015.
Neurogenic Oral, Small Molecule Program with NSI-189 – Advancing to Phase 2.
- NSI-189 Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) Program: Neuralstem filed its Phase II clinical trial protocol for the treatment of MDD with the FDA in September, 2015. Maurizio Fava, M.D., Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital will be the principal investigator. The Company expects to enroll its first patient in this study in the first quarter of 2016.
- NSI-189 for the treatment of cognitive deficit in schizophrenia: The Company plans to commence a Phase Ib clinical trial protocol for the treatment of cognitive deficit in schizophrenia in 2016.
Neurogenic Stem Cell Therapy Program with NSI-566 – Combined Phase 1 and 2 data presented.
- NSI-566 human neural stem cell therapy, under development for the treatment of ALS: 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, presented nine-month Phase II and combined Phase I and Phase II data at the American Neurological Association (ANA) Annual Meeting in September. The data showed that the intra-spinal transplantation of the human neural stem cells (NSI-566) was safe and well-tolerated. There appeared to be no acceleration in disease progression due to the therapeutic intervention with NSI-566. The Company is currently in discussions with the FDA for a larger, controlled, registration directed clinical trial.
- NSI-566 spinal cord-derived cell therapy under development for the treatment of chronic spinal cord injury (cSCI): In October, Joseph Ciacci, M.D., UCSD School of Medicine, presented initial safety data from the Phase I stem cell transplantation clinical trial with NSI-566. Dr. Ciacci reported that there had been no serious adverse events, that implantation of stem cells in cSCI patients is feasible and, that implantation of stem cells in the spinal cord injury patients has been safe and well tolerated. The last surgery was completed in July and now patients are currently in a 6-month post-observation period. The trial is being conducted at the UCSD School of Medicine, supported and funded by the UCSD Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center.
- NSI-566 spinal cord derived stem cell therapy under development for the treatment of motor deficits in stroke: Neuralstem continues to proceed in its collaborative Phase I/II ischemic stroke trial with BaYi Brain Hospital in Beijing. The Phase II portion of the study, a controlled proof-of-concept study, is expected to commence in 2016. The trial is sponsored by Neuralstem’s wholly owned subsidiary, Suzhou Neuralstem Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (“Neuralstem China”).
Neuralstem Adds Depth to its Senior Management Team with Appointment of Industry Veterans as Second Asset Advances toward Phase 2.
- Neuralstem appointed Andrew Moniz as Vice President, Clinical Trials Operations in September 2015. Mr. Moniz joins the Company from Worldwide Clinical Trials, Inc. where he was Vice President, Global Clinical Operations. Worldwide Clinical Trials is a global CRO providing full-service drug development services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
- Jonathan Lloyd Jones, CPA, MBA, joined the company in May as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Lloyd Jones was most recently Chief Financial Officer at Columbia Laboratories (Juniper Pharmaceuticals, NASDAQ: JNP), Before then, Mr. Lloyd Jones was CFO and VP of Corporate Development at TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, a venture-backed pharmaceutical company and Vice President, Finance, at TransMolecular, a privately-held, clinical stage biotech company. From 1996-2006, Mr. Lloyd Jones was Sr. Director, Corporate Development at Genzyme Corporation (now Sanofi).
“We are delighted that Jonathan and Andrew have joined us,” said Richard Garr, President and CEO, Neuralstem, Inc. “Their extensive industry experience in clinical development, financial, and business development will be invaluable as Neuralstem advances its two lead products through clinical development.”
Results of Operations for the Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2015
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments on hand was approximately $18.1 million at September 30, 2015, compared to approximately $27.5 million at December 31, 2014. The decrease was primarily due to our cash used in operations partially offset by our raising approximately $6.0 million, net through the issuance of our common stock from warrant exercises and from the sale of our common stock.
For the three months ended September 30, 2015, we reported a net loss of approximately $5.6 million or $0.06 per share, compared to a net loss of approximately $4.5 million or $0.05 per share in the comparable quarter of 2014. Our operating loss for the three months ended September 30, 2015 was approximately $5.2 million compared to a loss of approximately $4.1 million in the same quarter of 2014. The increase in operating loss was due to an approximately $1.3 million increase in research and development expenses partially offset by an approximately $0.2 million decrease in general and administrative expenses.
The increase in research and development expenses was primarily attributable to an increase of approximately $1.3 million in project and laboratory expenses. These increased expenses are all related to the expansion 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 legal expenses associated with reduced litigation expenses
Results of Operations for the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2015
For the nine months ended September 30, 2015, we reported a net loss of approximately $16.1 million or $0.18 per share, compared to a net loss of approximately $17.1 million or $0.20 per share in the comparable period of 2014. Our operating loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was approximately $14.8 million compared to a loss of approximately $12.8 million in the same period of 2014. The increase in operating loss was due to an approximately $4.1 million increase in research and development expenses partially offset by an approximately $2.1 million decrease in general and administrative expenses.
The increase in research and development expenses was primarily attributable to an increase in project and laboratory expenses, and an increase in payroll and related expenses due to increased salaries and headcount. These increased expenses are all related to the expansion of our pre-clinical and clinical trial efforts and are expected to continue into subsequent periods.
The decrease in general and administrative expense was primarily due to a decrease in non-cash stock based compensation and a decrease in legal fees related to reduced litigation expense. The decrease in non-cash stock based compensation is largely the result of a first quarter 2014 expense of approximately $2.0 million in non-cash stock based compensation expense related to a financial advisory and consulting services provider achieving a performance based milestone that resulted in a term extension of certain common stock purchase warrants. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in payroll related expenses due to increased salaries and headcount.
In addition, for the three and nine months ended September 2015, we recognized approximately $0.5 million and $1.4 million respectively, of interest expense related to our long-term debt. (Original Source)
Shares of Neuralstem are trading at $1.14, down $0.02 or 1.72%. CUR has a 1-year high of $3.92 and a 1-year low of $0.98. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.30 and its 200-day moving average is $1.59.
On the ratings front, Brean Murray Carret analyst Jonathan Aschoff reiterated a Buy rating on CUR, with a price target of $8, in a report issued on September 30. The current price target implies an upside of 589.7% from current levels. According to TipRanks.com, Aschoff has a total average return of -3.2%, a 40.7% success rate, and is ranked #3604 out of 3829 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.