Editas Medicine Starts a "Transformative" Year on a High Note

Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT) announced first-quarter 2018 results on Thursday after the market closed, detailing expanded partnerships, progress for its important LCA10 drug candidate, and a number of other intriguing updates for the broader business.

With shares of the early stage biopharma company up more than 4% on Friday in response, let's get a bigger dose of what drove its results to start the year.

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Editas Medicine results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2018

Q1 2017

Year-Over-Year Growth

Collaboration and other research & development revenue

$3.9 million

$0.7 million

457.1%

GAAP net income (loss)

($30.9 million)

($31.1 million)

N/A

GAAP net income (loss) per share

($0.67)

($0.85)

N/A

What happened with Editas Medicine this quarter?

  • The increase in collaboration and other R&D revenue was driven by a $2.9 million increase in revenue recognized under Editas' strategic alliance with Allergan, as well as a $0.3 million increase in reimbursable R&D expenses related to the adoption of new accounting standards at the start of the year.
  • R&D expenses increased 12% year over year to $21.3 million, while general and administrative expenses rose 15.4% to $14.2 million.
  • Ended the year with cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $359 million, up from $329.1 million last quarter and providing at least 24 months of funding for operating expenses.
  • The EDIT 101 drug candidate for treating Leber Congentital Amaurosis type 10 (LCA10), the leading cause of childhood blindness, is still on track for a mid-2018 investigational new drug (IND) application filing).
  • On Thursday, Editas also announced an expansion of its partnership with Celgene's Juno Therapeutics to develop and commercialize chimeric antigen receptor and engineered T cell receptor medicines. This includes Celgene's lead program for treating human paillomavirus-associated solid tumors. Under this expanded partnership, Editas will receive another $10 million in cash and be eligible for a fourth independent milestone and royalty stream.
  • Editas presented research data for its recurrent occular herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and Usher Syndrome type 2A (USH2A), showing CRISPR gene editing techniques were able to reduce HSV-1 viral load by 75%, and reduce corneal lesions by 91%.
  • Continued to design a superior medicine for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. The latest data from this program will be presented at the upcoming American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) meeting in May.
  • Appointed Jim Mullen, former CEO of Biogen and Pathean N.V., as chairman of Editas' board of directors.

What management had to say

CEO Katrine Bosley stated:

Looking forward

As a reminder, Editas doesn't offer specific revenue or earnings guidance for each quarter. Rather it made strides toward fulfilling several of the goals for 2018 that management identified last quarter; LCA10 remains on track for its IND filing later this year, it offered additional preclinical proof-of-concept data on two other promising programs, and expanded one of its most significant strategic partnerships. And while Editas has plenty of work to do yet, I think the market is right to bid up the stock today.

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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Celgene. The Motley Fool recommends Editas Medicine. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.