Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to treat severe medical conditions, today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2009.
In the third quarter, Synta recognized total revenue of $130.4 million, of which $114.6 million was related to the acceleration of unrecognized deferred license and milestone revenue in connection with the termination of the agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for the development of elesclomol. Upfront license and milestone payments from GSK were previously being recognized over the estimated 15 year term of the agreement.
Total collaboration revenue, including revenue from the on-going development agreement with Roche, was $130.4 million in the third quarter of 2009 compared to net revenue of $1.3 million for the same period in 2008. Research and development expenses were $9.1 million for the third quarter in 2009 compared to $24.1 million for the same period in 2008. General and administrative expenses were $3.1 million for the third quarter in 2009 compared to $3.7 million for the same period in 2008.
The Company reported net income of $118.1 million, or $3.49 per basic share and $3.48 per diluted share, for the third quarter in 2009, compared to a net loss of $26.3 million, or $0.78 per basic and diluted share for the same period in 2008.
As of September 30, 2009, the Company had $51.7 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities. This compares to $73.6 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of December 31, 2008.
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 on November 4, 2009.
“Our top two priorities over the coming months are advancing our Hsp90 program to clinical proof of concept and securing new partnership agreements for one or more of our unpartnered assets – the Hsp90, elesclomol, vascular disrupting agent, and IL-12/23 inhibitor programs,” said Safi Bahcall, Ph.D., CEO of Synta. “We are making good progress on both of these goals.”
“We have expanded our Hsp90 program with a fourth clinical trial of STA-9090, a Phase 1/2 trial in hematologic malignancies at the once per week dosing schedule,” continued Dr. Bahcall. “We have a growing portfolio of collaborations with leading investigators around the country to explore activity with STA-9090 in different tumor types, and have been pleased by the results from these collaborations and the interest they have generated in initiating multiple investigator-sponsored trials. These results and the encouraging signs we have seen to date in our ongoing trials – including single agent responses in patients who have failed multiple prior therapies; instances of prolonged stable disease; and a favorable safety profile – have helped us put together what we believe will be the leading Hsp90 program in the industry, with the goal of a dozen trials completed or ongoing by mid-2010.”
Synta also announced that pre-clinical results with STA-9090 will be presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics on November 15-19, 2009.
“In addition to progress with STA-9090, we have been pleased by the pace of discussions with multiple potential partners for the different programs at Synta,” continued Dr. Bahcall. “We are optimistic we will secure one or more partnerships in the first half of 2010.”
This quarter Synta also continued to advance its CRACM and elesclomol programs. “We are encouraged by recent results from our CRACM research team and the close collaboration we have with Roche on this program,” continued Dr. Bahcall. The CRACM ion channel is a critical regulator of immune cell activation. Drug candidates that modulate this pathway have the potential to form a promising new category of orally administered treatments for autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory conditions.
In October, Synta presented updated analyses of results from the Phase 3 trial of elesclomol in metastatic melanoma (SYMMETRY(SM)) at the Perspectives in Melanoma XIII Conference, including survival data with 6 months minimum follow-up. The data showed that baseline LDH status may be a predictive factor for treatment with elesclomol. The Company expects to present SYMMETRY survival data with 12 months minimum follow-up, and announce further decisions related to the future of the elesclomol program, in the first half of 2010. New results related to the mechanism of action of elesclomol will be presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in November this year and the 51st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in December.
Based upon our current operating plans, we continue to expect to end 2009 with approximately $40 million of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. This estimate assumes no additional funds from new partnership agreements or equity financing events.
Management will conduct a conference call at 10:00 a.m. (ET) this morning to review the Company’s third-quarter 2009 financial results. The conference call will be webcast live over the Internet and can be accessed by logging on to the “Investors” section of the Synta Pharmaceuticals website, www.syntapharma.com, prior to the event.
The call also can be accessed by dialing (877) 407-8035 or (201) 689-8035 prior to the start of the call. For those unable to join the live conference call, a replay will be available from 2:00 p.m. (ET) today through midnight (ET) on November 11. To access the replay, dial (877) 660-6853 or (201) 612-7415 and refer to both account number 286 and conference ID 335119. The webcast also will be archived on the Company’s website.