Friday, 3 May 2013

Soligenix narrows Q1 loss as revenues increase, expenses decline; drug development continues

Soligenix (OTCQB:SNGX) said Friday that it narrowed its net loss in the first quarter as revenues increased and operating expenses declined, as the company says it continues to make progress in both its biotherapeutics and biodefense businesses. 
The New Jersey-based clinical-stage bipharmaceutical company, which is focused on developing products to treat inflammatory diseases and biodefense countermeasures, said revenues for the three months to March 31 were $0.9 million, up from $0.6 million in the year-ago period. 
Revenues increased due to reimbursable costs from the company's four active government-funded programs - most notably its ThermoVax thermostability technology grant focused on a new method of rendering "aluminum salt adjuvanted vaccines" stable at elevated temperatures. 
For vaccines that are intended for long-term stockpiling, such as for use in biodefense or in pandemic situations, Soligenixhas said that the use of ThermoVax, which has been tested in combination with the company's RiVax vaccine, can lead to easier storage and the distribution of strategic national stockpile vaccines in emergency situations.
Net loss for the latest quarter was $1.1 million, or 10 cents per share, versus $1.4 million, or 13 cents per share, for the same quarter last year. Soligenix said Friday in its statement the reduced loss is mainly due to increased government-funded grants, and overall lower operating expenses. 
Indeed, research and development costs for the quarter fell slightly to $0.8 million from $0.9 million, while general and administrative expenses were $0.5 million, down from $0.7 million a year earlier. 
Overall operating decreased by $0.3 million, leaving the company with a cash position of $2.6 million at the end of the quarter. 
"We continue to make steady progress in both our BioTherapeutics and Vaccine/BioDefense business segments," said president and CEO Christopher J. Schaber, in the release today. 
"We have expanded our product pipeline through a worldwide exclusive collaboration with Intrexon Corporation that will focus on the joint development of a treatment for Melioidosis, a high priority biothreat and an area of unmet medical need," he said, also highlighting the submission of a contract proposal to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the quarter, to support the development of OrbeShield.
The award has the potential to be a multi-million dollar contract. OrbeShield is being developed by the company to treat gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome  (GI ARS), which occurs after toxic radiation exposure and involves several organ systems, notably the bone marrow, the gastrointestinal tract and later, the lungs.
Aside from these accomplishments in the period, the company also recieved FDA clearance of its investigational new drug application for SGX942, its lead compound, which is projected to enter phase 2 for oral mucositis in head and neck cancer in the second half of this year, with results anticipated in the second half of 2014. 
Shares of Soligenix were inactive Friday, trading at $1.45 - up by more than double since the start of the year. 

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