Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IDRA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel nucleic acid-based therapeutics for oncology and rare diseases, today reported its financial and operational results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016.
“The second quarter of this year represented a period of solid execution throughout the organization,” stated Vincent Milano, Idera’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a result of the efforts of the team to continue driving our programs forward, we are rapidly approaching critical data readouts for Idera. During the second half of this year, we expect to be in position to share important data from our melanoma trial with IMO-2125, as well as the next steps in the program. We also expect to be in a position to select a recommended Phase 2 dose for our B-cell lymphoma program with IMO-8400. Lastly, we plan to begin elucidating the path forward for the 3GA (third generation antisense) platform, which we believe represents a pillar in the foundation of the company we are building.”
Continued Milano, “I’m very proud of the team’s focus and determination as they continued to advance our research and development programs. We certainly have much more work ahead of us to arrive at our ultimate goal of delivering solutions to patients; however, we are energized knowing that we will soon be in possession of critical information to further understand the potential of these opportunities.”
Research and Development Program Updates
IMO-2125 and IMO-8400 are the Company’s lead clinical development drug candidates. IMO-2125 is an oligonucleotide-based agonist of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9. IMO-8400 is an oligonucleotide-based antagonist of TLRs 7, 8, and 9. The Company also announced during the fourth quarter of 2015, the first two development targets from its proprietary 3GA Technology platform: NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing protein 3) and DUX4 (Double Homeobox 4). The Company continues to evaluate these and other potential targets for clinical proof of concept. The Company plans to take the first 3GA candidate into human proof of concept studies in 2017.
Toll-like Receptor (TLR) Agonism
Idera’s development program in immuno-oncology is based on the rationale that intra-tumoral injections of IMO-2125, a TLR9 agonist, will activate dendritic cells and modulate the tumor microenvironment to potentiate the anti-tumor activity of checkpoint inhibitors. This rationale is supported by pre-clinical data in multiple tumor types. These studies have led Idera into a strategic alliance with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centerto evaluate the combination of intra-tumoral IMO-2125 with checkpoint inhibitors.
In December 2015, Idera announced the initiation of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of intra-tumoral IMO-2125 in combination with ipilimumab, a CTLA4 antibody being conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. This study is in patients with relapsed or refractory Metastatic Melanoma who have failed prior PD-1 therapy. The trial continues to accrue patients according to plan and the Company intends to present the first clinical immune response translational data from this trial, addressing the mechanism of action, during the second half of 2016 at a select immuno-oncology conference, with clinical results expected in 2017.
The study has recently been amended to include the exploration of the combination of IMO-2125 with pembrolizumab, an anti-PD1 antibody.
Toll-like Receptor (TLR) Antagonism
Genetically Defined Forms of B-cell Lymphoma
Idera’s program in genetically defined forms of B-cell lymphoma is based on pre-clinical studies that have demonstrated that, in certain B-cell lymphomas driven by the oncogenic MYD88-L265P mutation, blocking TLR7 and 9 signaling can promote tumor cell death.
In December 2015, Idera presented positive clinical data from the ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of IMO-8400 in patients with Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia at the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in Orlando, FL. The Company is continuing dose escalation of IMO-8400 in the ongoing trials in Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma to explore the full potential of IMO-8400 based on the safety profile and efficacy signals seen to date. The Company plans to be in position to select a recommended Phase 2 dose by year end 2016.
Idera previously announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted orphan drug designation for IMO-8400 for the treatment of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and DLBCL.
In November 2015, Idera announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial of IMO-8400 in patients with Dermatomyositis, a rare auto-immune condition, which negatively affects skin and may result in debilitating muscle weakness. TLRs have been reported to play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. This randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled Phase 2 trial is expected to enroll 36 patients and is being conducted at approximately 20 clinical sites worldwide. The Company plans to complete enrollment of this trial by the end of 2017.
Third Generation Antisense Platform (3GA)
Idera’s proprietary third-generation antisense (3GA) platform technology is focused on silencing the mRNA associated with disease causing genes. Idera has designed 3GA oligonucleotides to overcome specific challenges associated with earlier generation antisense technologies and RNAi technologies.
In late 2015, Idera announced the identification of NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing protein 3) and DUX4 (Double Homeobox 4) as initial gene targets to advance into IND-enabling activities, which will occur throughout 2016. Potential disease indications related to these targets include, but are not limited to, interstitial cystitis, lupus nephritis, uveitis and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). The Company is currently conducting clinical, regulatory and commercial analysis activities and conducting IND-enabling studies with the plan to enter the clinic in 2017 for the first clinical development program. In addition to these activities, over the first half of 2016, Idera generated 3GA compounds for a series of additional gene targets. These will enable the Company to continue to expand its future pipeline opportunities for both internal development as well as partnerships in areas outside of Idera’s focus. Idera plans to present pre-clinical data at several conferences in the second half of 2016.
In late 2015, Idera entered into a collaboration and license agreement with GSK to research, develop and commercialize compounds from its 3GA technology for the treatment of undisclosed, selected renal targets. As per the terms of the agreement, Idera received an upfront payment of $2.5 million and is eligible to receive up to approximately $100 millionin milestone payments in addition to royalties.
Second Quarter 2016 Results
Net loss for the three months ended June 30, 2016 was $13.5 million, or $0.11 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $12.7 million, or $0.11 per basic and diluted share, for the same period in 2015. Revenue totaled $0.3 million and $0.6 million during the three and six months ended June 30, 2016, respectively. There was nominal revenue recognized during the corresponding 2015 periods. For the six month period ended June 30, 2016, the Company’s net loss was $26.3 million, or $0.22 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $25.2 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the same period in 2015.
Research and development expenses for the three months ended June 30, 2016 totaled $10.1 million compared to $9.0 million for the same period in 2015. For the six month period ended June 30, 2016, research and development expenses totaled $19.4 million compared to$17.7 million for the same period in 2015.
General and administrative expense for the three months ended June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2015 totaled $3.8 million, respectively. For the six month period ended June 30, 2016 andJune 30, 2015, general and administrative expenses totaled $7.7 million, respectively.
As of June 30, 2016, Idera’s cash, cash equivalents and investments totaled $64.1 millioncompared to $87.2 million as of December 31, 2015. The company expects the current cash position and investments to fund its operations into the third quarter of 2017. (Original Source)
Shares of Idera Pharmaceuticals closed yesterday at $1.67, down $0.05 or -2.91%. IDRA has a 1-year high of $4.42 and a 1-year low of $1.19. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.58 and its 200-day moving average is $1.72.
On the ratings front, Cowen analyst Boris Peaker reiterated a Buy rating on IDRA, in a report issued on May 10. According to TipRanks.com, Peaker has a yearly average return of 9.2%, a 42% success rate, and is ranked #409 out of 4083 analysts.
Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, which is engaged in discovery, development and commercialization of novel nucleic acid therapeutics to treat patients with serious and life-threatening diseases. The company was founded by Paul C. Zamecnik, Sudhir A. Agrawal and James B. Wyngaarden in May 25, 1989 and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA.