Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM)
Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM), has reported the financial results for the quarter ending December 31, 2016. The company also issued an update on a number of corporate developments. Verastem is engaged in the discovery and development of cancer treatment drugs. Verastem President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Forrester in a statement said the company recorded a lot of breakthrough in 2016. Among the success reported in the year is the in-licensing of duvelisib and the admission of defactinib in clinical trial together with immuno-oncology agents. Duvelisib is Verastem’s late-stage candidate with a lot of potential for treatment of T-cell and B-cell lymphoid malignancies.
For the year 2017, Forrester said they are focusing on a number of achievements starting with an update on top line data from the Phase 3 DUO™ trial of duvelisib toward the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The report is expected to be out in mid 2017. Currently there is a very high demand among relapsed CLL patients and it is believed that duvelisib has the potential as an oral monotherapy with a safety profile for patients suffering from relapsed CLL.
In the financial results released, the company closed the year with $80.9 million in cash and cash equivalents together with investments. The company has $25.0 million in outstanding loan facility obtained from Hercules Capital, Inc. Forrester says the loan facility with put the company in a better financial position to advance study into duvelisib. The company reported a net loss of $36.4 million or $0.99 per share. This is in comparison to the $57.9 million, or $1.61 per share reported the previous financial year. The net loss is inclusive of $6.2 million and $9.7 million worth of expenses for non-cash stock-based compensation for 2016 and 2015 respectively.
The company’s research and development kitty amounted to $19.8 million in the last financial year compared to the previous year when it had a research budget of $40.6 million. A reduction of $20.8 million in the 2016 financial year is attributed to a $15.6 million reduction in expense for external contract research organization towards outsourced chemistry, biology, development and clinical services. The company’s administrative and general expenses for the last financial year amounted to $17.2 million in comparison to the previous year when the expenses were $17.6 million. The decrease is attributed to a reduction of $2.1 million in compensation expenses.
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About the author: Monica Gray has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA – earned with Honors. She has six years of experience in the financial markets and has been a securities analyst for the past two years.