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Curis Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

May 06, 2009 | About:
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Curis Inc. (CRIS) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2009-03-31.

Curis Inc. is a therapeutic drug development company focusing on cancer neurological and dermatological disease indications with technologies that utilize regulatory pathways that control repair and regeneration. Curis' product development involves the use of small molecules or proteins to modulate these pathways. The company has successfully used this technology and product development approach to produce several promising drug product candidates in the fields of cancer neurological disorders hair growth kidney and other diseases as well as cardiovascular disease. Curis Inc. has a market cap of $77.6 million; its shares were traded at around $1.22 with and P/S ratio of 9.3.

Highlight of Business Operations:

Our most advanced program is a first-in-class orally administered Hedgehog pathway inhibitor program for which our collaborator Genentech is conducting clinical trials on the lead molecule, GDC-0449, including a pivotal Phase II clinical trial in advanced basal cell carcinoma patients as well as Phase II clinical trials in first-line metastatic colorectal cancer and in advanced ovarian cancer patients. The initiation of these Phase II clinical trials has provided us with an important source of financing, resulting in cash payments totaling $12,000,000, including $6,000,000 that we received in the first quarter of 2009 following Genentech’s initiation of the pivotal Phase II trial. We had previously received an additional $6,000,000 for GDC-0449’s achievement of earlier clinical development objectives, bringing the aggregate amount of such payments to $18,000,000.

Total revenues increased by $3,969,000 to $6,037,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2009 from $2,068,000 for the same period in 2008. Research and development contracts decreased $178,000 as all research funding for programs under collaboration concluded at various times beginning in March 2007. The conclusion of research funding under our Hedgehog agonist collaboration with Wyeth in February 2008 accounted for $149,000 of the decrease. We currently receive no research funding for our programs under past or current collaborations. As a result of the foregoing changes, we expect that our future research and development contract revenues will be limited to expenses that we incur on behalf of our collaborators for which the collaborator is obligated to reimburse us.

Offsetting the decrease in research and development contract revenue, our license revenues increased by $4,147,000 to $6,000,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2009 from $1,853,000 for the same period in 2008. The increase is due to $6,000,000 in license revenue recognized for Genentech’s initiation of a pivotal Phase II basal cell carcinoma trial during the three months ended March 31, 2009, offset in part by a decrease of $1,750,000 in license revenue recognized from the sale and assignment of our remaining BMP assets to Stryker Corporation for the same prior year period.

During the three months ended March 31, 2009, we also incurred expenses of $349,000 related to our Hedgehog pathway inhibitor program as compared to $20,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2008, an increase of $329,000. The first quarter 2009 expenses were primarily related to $300,000 in sublicense payments that we were required to make as a result of the $6,000,000 that we received from Genentech for the achievement of a clinical development objective during the quarter. We did not incur such expenses during the same prior year period. We expect that future research and development expenses related to our Hedgehog pathway inhibitor program will continue to fluctuate and be incurred primarily as a result of our receipt of future payments under this collaboration.

At March 31, 2009, our principal sources of liquidity consisted of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $30,003,000, excluding restricted long-term investments of $210,000. Our cash and cash equivalents are highly liquid investments with a maturity of three months or less at date of purchase and consist of time deposits and investments in money market funds with commercial banks and financial institutions, short-term commercial paper, and government obligations. We maintain cash balances with financial institutions in excess of insured limits. While as of the date of this filing, we are not aware of any downgrades, material losses, or other significant deterioration in the fair value of our cash equivalents or marketable securities since March 31, 2009, no assurance can be given that further deterioration in conditions of the global credit and financial markets would not negatively impact our current portfolio of cash equivalents or marketable securities or our ability to meet our financing objectives. Further dislocations in the credit market may adversely impact the value and/or liquidity of marketable securities owned by us.

Read the The complete ReportCRIS is in the portfolios of Jean-Marie Eveillard of Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder Advisers, LLC.

Rating: 2.7/5 (3 votes)

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