Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for cancer, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 and provided an update on the Company’s corporate and clinical development activities.
“Encouraged by the MAESTRO data presented recently at ASCO that demonstrated meaningful improvement in overall survival in the subgroup of patients from Japan and South Korea, we are pursuing a registration strategy for Japan,” said Barry Selick, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Threshold. “We have also been encouraged by the translational data evaluating the role of hypoxia in mediating treatment resistance to cancer immunotherapy conducted by collaborators at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and to initiating a clinical trial evaluating evofosfamide in combination with checkpoint blockade.”
Evofosfamide – The Company’s lead product candidate is an investigational hypoxia-activated prodrug that is designed to be activated under tumor hypoxic conditions, a hallmark of many cancers.
- Additional data analyses from the MAESTRO Phase 3 trial, which were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting recently, reported on the subgroup of 123 Asian patients enrolled at Japanese and South Korean sites in which the risk of death was reduced by 48 percent for patients on the treatment arm compared to patients on the control arm with an associated stratified hazard ratio of 0.52 (95% CI: 0.32 – 0.85);
- The Company is evaluating the feasibility of submitting a New Drug Application (NDA) for registration with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, or PMDA, in Japan based on the results seen in the Japanese sub-population;
- Clinical development collaborations investigating evofosfamide in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET), recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain ongoing; and
- A recent presentation by one of the Company’s collaborators from the MD Anderson Cancer Center highlighted the promise of evofosfamide in combination with “checkpoint antibodies” to improve the efficacy of this class of potent anti-cancer therapies. A clinical trial evaluating evofosfamide plus ipilimumab to treat a variety of solid tumors is planned.
Tarloxotinib – Beyond the evofosfamide program, the Company is pursuing the Phase 2 proof of concept studies with tarloxotinib, a hypoxia-activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), which is designed to selectively release an irreversible EGFR-TKI in hypoxic tumors.
- Investigations continue in two proof-of-concept, Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and patients with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and skin; the designs of both trials necessitate a minimum response rate for study continuation. When the specified target numbers of patients have been assessed, the Company plans to report the preliminary results; this is estimated to occur in the third quarter of 2016.
Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results
- Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $33.6 million at June 30, 2016 compared to $38.0 million at March 31, 2016; the net decrease of $4.4 million was a result of operating cash requirements for the quarter ended June 30, 2016. With the previously announced decision to cease joint development of evofosfamide under the Company’s former collaboration with Merck KGaA and the workforce reduction, the Company continues to expect its operating cash requirements to be lower for the second half of fiscal year 2016 compared to the first half of 2016.
- No revenue was recognized in the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 compared to $3.7 million for the same period of 2015. Revenue for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 related to the amortization of the aggregate of $110 million in upfront and milestone payments received from the Company’s former collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The revenue from the upfront payment and milestone payments received under the agreement were previously being amortized over the relevant performance period, rather than being immediately recognized when the upfront payment and milestones were earned or received. As a result of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s and the Company’s decision to cease further joint development of evofosfamide in December 2015, the Company immediately recognized all of the remaining deferred revenue into revenue during the quarter ending December 31, 2015. Also as a result of the termination of the agreement, the Company is no longer eligible to receive any further milestone payments from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
- Research and development expenses were $4.0 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016, compared to $10.1 million for the same period in 2015. The decrease in research and development expenses, net of reimbursement for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s 70 percent share of total eligible collaboration expenses for evofosfamide, was due primarily to a $3.6 million decrease in employee related expenses, including a $0.9 million decrease in non-cash stock-based compensation expense and a $2.5 million decrease in clinical development expenses and consulting expenses. The Company expects research and development expenses to continue to decline in 2016 as result of the decision to cease further joint development of evofosfamide under the Company’s former collaboration with Merck KGaA and the workforce reduction.
- General and administrative expenses were $1.9 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016 compared to $2.5 million for the same period in 2015. The decrease in general and administrative expenses was due primarily to a $0.5 million decrease in employee related expenses and a $0.1 million decrease in consulting expenses.
- Non-cash stock-based compensation expense included in total operating expenses was $0.8 million for the second quarter of 2016 compared to$1.9 million for same period in 2015. The decrease in stock-based compensation expense was due to the amortization of a smaller number of options with lower fair values.
- Net loss for the second quarter of 2016 was $6.9 million compared to $8.3 million for the same period in 2015. Included in the net loss for the second quarter of 2016 was an operating loss of $5.9 million and non-cash expense of $1.0 million compared to an operating loss of $8.9 million and non-cash income of $0.6 million for the second quarter of 2015. The non-cash income or expense is related to changes in the fair value of the Company’s outstanding and exercised warrants that was classified as other income (expense). (Original Source)
Shares of Threshold Pharma are currently trading at $0.50, down $0.011 or -2.09%. THLD has a 1-year high of $5.28 and a 1-year low of $0.21. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.51 and its 200-day moving average is $0.42.
Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the development of therapeutics for treating tumors. It operates as a research-driven biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of therapeutic agents that selectively target tumor cells for the treatment of patients living with cancer. The firm’s investigational small molecule, evofosfamide (formerly TH-302), is being evaluated in two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, one registrational Phase 2 clinical trial, and multiple earlier-stage clinical trials. Its TH-302 drug designed to be activated under hypoxia, or extremely low oxygen levels, a condition common to the microenvironment that is associated with tumor progression, metastasis, resistance to radiotherapy and standard chemotherapy, and ultimately treatment failure.