Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ:SNTA) reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015 and provided an update on its business strategy.
To align its resources with the Company’s operational needs going forward, Synta announced today that it is reducing its workforce by approximately 60% to 33 full time employees. The Company estimates annual savings of at least $8 million in compensation-related costs as a result of the restructuring. Cash payments in connection with the workforce reduction, comprised principally of severance, unused vacation payments, benefits continuation costs and outplacement services, will range from $2.5 million to $2.6 million. The Company expects the restructuring to be substantially completed, and the majority of the related cash payments to be paid, during the fourth quarter of 2015.
The Company also announced today the appointment of Scott Morenstein to its Board of Directors. Mr. Morenstein is a Managing Director atCAM Capital, a private investment company established by Bruce Kovner, a Director of Synta Pharmaceuticals, focused on investment, trading and business activities. Prior to joining CAM Capital, Mr. Morenstein was a Managing Director of Valence Life Sciences and Caxton Advantage Venture Partners, venture capital firms focused on late-stage investing in private and small cap public drug development companies. He was previously a healthcare investment banker and research analyst at Lehman Brothers and Seaview Securities. Mr. Morenstein received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
“We continue to evaluate our strategic options following the outcome of our Phase 3 GALAXY-2 trial of ganetespib in lung cancer,” said Chen Schor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synta. “The difficult, but necessary decision to reduce our workforce is an important part of extending our cash runway as we evaluate these options, and we thank the many talented employees that will be leaving the Company for their service. We plan to continue to support key ongoing investigator-sponsored studies while we determine the appropriate path forward for ganetespib. We also look forward to continuing to develop our HDC pipeline.”
Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results
There were no revenues recognized in the third quarters of 2015 and 2014.
Research and development expenses were $14.4 million for the third quarter in 2015, compared to $16.2 million for the same period in 2014. General and administrative expenses were $3.0 million for the third quarter in 2015, compared to $3.2 million for the same period in 2014. The Company anticipates that costs under its ganetespib program will decrease significantly in 2016 following the termination of the GALAXY-2 trial and the subsequent restructuring in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The Company reported a net loss of $17.6 million, or $0.13 per basic and diluted share, in the third quarter of 2015, compared to a net loss of$20.0 million, or $0.19 per basic and diluted share, for the same period in 2014.
As of September 30, 2015, the Company had $88.3 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, compared to $97.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of December 31, 2014.
More detailed financial information and analysis may be found in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 5, 2015.
The Company expects its cash resources of approximately $88.3 million as of September 30, 2015, along with lower operating expenses following the termination of the GALAXY-2 trial and the subsequent restructuring in the fourth quarter of 2015, will be sufficient to fund operations at least through the first half of 2017. This estimate assumes no additional funding from new partnership agreements, equity financings or further sales under the Company’s ATM facility. The timing and nature of certain activities contemplated for the remainder of 2015 and 2016 will be conducted subject to the availability of sufficient financial resources. (Original Source)
Shares of Synta Pharmaceuticals closed today at $0.650, down $0.004 or 0.63%. SNTA has a 1-year high of $3.44 and a 1-year low of $0.55. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.52 and its 200-day moving average is $2.05.
On the ratings front, Synta has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 21, Roth Capital analyst Joseph Pantginis downgraded SNTA to Hold, with a price target of $1, which implies an upside of 53.9% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, FBR’s Christopher James downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $2.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joseph Pantginis and Christopher James have a total average return of -3.1% and -23.7% respectively. Pantginis has a success rate of 37.3% and is ranked #3660 out of 3824 analysts, while James has a success rate of 28.0% and is ranked #3771.
Synta Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. It is engaged in research, development and commercialization of novel oncology medicines that have the potential to change the lives of cancer patients.