Arbutus Biopharma Q1 Exceeds Consensus View; Cuts Cash Burn Guidance

  • Arbutus Biopharma Corp ABUS reported Q1 2023 revenues of $6.7 million, beating the consensus of $6.02 million.
  • Revenues declined from $12.6 million in the prior year owing to lower revenue recognition from the license agreement with Qilu.
  • Research and development expenses declined to $18.3 million from $18.5 million a year ago due to reduced costs for AB-836 Phase 1a/1b clinical trial on discontinuation in Q4 2022.
  • The company reported a loss per share of $(0.10), better than the consensus estimate of $(0.14).
  • As of March 31, 2023, cash, cash equivalents and investments in marketable securities stood at $178.5 million.
  • In April, AB-101 IND was placed on hold by the FDA and the company will not report initial data from the single-ascending dose portion of a Phase 1 clinical trial in H2 2023. Consequently, ABUS reduced 2023 cash burn guidance to $90-$95 million from $95-$100 million earlier.
  • "In the first quarter of 2023, we made meaningful progress advancing our pipeline of HBV and coronavirus assets to address large global market opportunities. We reported data from our lead HBV-focused RNAi therapeutic, AB-729, showing low levels of HBsAg and HBV DNA in most patients persisting for at least a year and a half after their last dose of AB-729," said William Collier, Arbutus' President and CEO.
  • He added, "In addition, we dosed the first healthy subject in our Phase 1 clinical trial with AB-161, our oral RNA destabilizer, for which we expect data in the second half of this year. We continue to advance our coronavirus programs and expect to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial with our Mpro inhibitor candidate, AB-343, as well as IND-enabling studies for an nsp12 inhibitor candidate in the second half of this year."
  • Price Action: ABUS shares are trading higher by 1.79% at $2.55 on the last check Thursday.
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