Conference Call and Webcast Today, May 7, at 4:30 p.m. ET
Asterias to Host Investor Meeting Tomorrow, May 8, to Review AST-OPC1 Clinical Development Strategy for Spinal Cord Injury
MENLO PARK, Calif., May 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), a leading biotechnology company in the emerging field of regenerative medicine, today reported financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015.
"Asterias remains focused on our two potentially transformative stem cell technology platforms, industry-leading Pluripotent Stem Cells and Allogeneic Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy," stated Pedro Lichtinger, President and CEO of Asterias. "We are making steady progress on our lead therapeutic programs from each of these platforms that have the potential to address significant unmet medical needs. We have activated the second clinical site in our Phase 1/2a clinical trial of AST-OPC1 in patients with complete cervical spinal cord injury, and expect safety data from the initial low-dose, 2 million cell cohort as well as initiation of the 10 million cell cohort in the third quarter of 2015. In addition, we continue to expect completion and transfer of the manufacturing process of our AST-VAC2 allogeneic dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine to our development partner Cancer Research UK in the second quarter of this year. Importantly, we strengthened our cash position in the first quarter by completing a $5.3 million public offering and private placement of our common stock. In addition, we received $2.3 million in the first quarter from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine related to clinical development of AST-OPC1."
Recent Research and Development Highlights:
AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells)
AST-VAC2 (antigen-presenting allogeneic dendritic cells)
AST-VAC1 (antigen-presenting autologous dendritic cells)
First Quarter [Unaudited] Financial Results
Total revenues in the first quarter 2015 were $779,060, which were comprised of grant income and royalty revenues on product sales by licensees. Total revenues in the year ago quarter were $61,980. Operating expenses in the first quarter were $5.3 million, compared to $3.7 million in the prior year period. Research and development (R&D) expenses in the first quarter were $3.6 million, compared to $2.6 million in the year ago quarter.
Net loss for the first quarter 2015 was $3.0 million, including a deferred income tax benefit of approximately $1.6 million. Net loss in the first quarter 2014 was $2.3 million, including a deferred income tax benefit of approximately $1.3 million. On a per share basis, net loss for the first quarter was $0.09 per share, compared to a loss of $0.07 per share for the year ago quarter.
Cash and cash equivalents were $7.4 million as of March 31, 2015, compared to $3.1 million as of December 31, 2014. In February 2015, Asterias raised $5.3 million in net proceeds from the public offering and concurrent private placement of its common stock. In addition, the Company held 3.9 million BioTime common shares, with a market value of approximately $19.2 million as of March 31, 2015. For the first quarter, cash burn was $1.7 million, below the Company's projected cash burn for the quarter, primarily due to higher than anticipated receipts from CIRM in the quarter. The Company continues to expect net cash burn in 2015 to be in the range of $15 million to $17 million.
First Quarter Conference Call and Webcast Details
The Company will host a conference call and webcast today, Thursday, May 7, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern / 1:30 p.m. Pacific to discuss the results and recent corporate developments.
For both "listen-only" participants and those participants who wish to participate in the question-and-answer portion of the call, the dial-in number in the U.S. is 877-407-8291. For participants outside the U.S., the dial-in number is 201-689-8345. To access the live webcast, go to http://asteriasbiotherapeutics.com/events-presentations/.
A replay of the conference call will be available for seven business days beginning about two hours after the conclusion of the live call. The telephone dial-in number for U.S. participants is 877-660-6853. For participants outside the U.S., the replay dial-in number is 201-612-7415. To access the replay for all callers, refer to Conference ID 13608712. An archived webcast will also be available for 30 days, and may be accessed at http://asteriasbiotherapeutics.com/events-presentations/.
Investor Meeting and Webcast to Review AST-OPC1 Clinical Development Strategy for Spinal Cord Injury
Asterias will host a meeting with the investment community tomorrow, Friday, May 8, 2015 to review the clinical development strategy for AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) in spinal cord injury. The program will include presentations by Asterias' President and Chief Executive Officer Pedro Lichtinger, President of Research and Development Jane S. Lebkowski, Ph.D., and Chief Translational Officer Edward D. Wirth, III, M.D., Ph.D. In addition, John Steeves, Ph.D., Co-Chair of the Spinal Cord Outcomes Partnership Endeavor (SCOPE) and Professor of International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), will discuss clinical foundations for the endpoints and outcome measures in spinal cord injury trials.
A live webcast of the presentations will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET and the webcast will conclude by 12:00 p.m. ET. The live webcast of the event will be available on the Company's website at: http://asteriasbiotherapeutics.com/events-presentations/. An archived webcast will be available at the same website following the conclusion of the meeting.
About Asterias Biotherapeutics
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST) is a leading biotechnology company in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The Company's core technologies center on pluripotent stem cells, which are characterized by the ability to become all cell types in the human body. Asterias is focused on developing therapies based on pluripotent stem cells to treat diseases or serious injuries in several medical areas where there is high unmet medical need and without adequate available therapies. Asterias' two therapeutic programs, AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) for spinal cord injuries and AST-VAC2 (antigen-presenting allogeneic dendritic cells) for lung cancer, are based on the Company's proprietary technology platforms of Pluripotent Stem Cells and Allogeneic Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy, respectively. AST-OPC1 is currently in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial. Additional information about Asterias can be found at www.asteriasbiotherapeutics.com.
Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development, and potential opportunities for Asterias, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the businesses of Asterias, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in Asterias' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Asterias disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
ASTERIAS BIOTHERAPEUTICS, INC.
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
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ASTERIAS BIOTHERAPEUTICS, INC.
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
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Commitments and contingencies (see Note 10)
Preferred Stock, $0.0001 par value, authorized 5,000,000 shares; none issued and outstanding
Common Stock, authorized 75,000,000 Series A Common Stock, $0.0001 par value, and 75,000,000 Series B Common Stock, $0.0001 par value; 32,312,407 and 30,902,152 shares Series A Common Stock issued and outstanding at March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively. No Series B Common Stock issued and outstanding at March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014.
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SOURCE Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc.