argenx reports third quarter 2018 financial results and provides business update
October 24, 2018 at 21:00 PM EDT
“The proof-of-concept data that we have generated in the last year from our Phase 2 clinical trials in generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG), immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and pemphigus vulgaris (PV) support efgartigimod’s (ARGX-113) potential in severe autoimmune disease, and we are committed to advancing and expanding this clinical program as quickly as possible. We continue to see potential differentiation of our molecule among the anti-FcRn class of therapies in terms of tolerability, improvement in disease scores, and stage of development. We are now evaluating our lead candidate in four indications, two formulations to accommodate tailored therapy, and in one registration trial with another expected to launch next year,” commented Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of argenx. “Our second program, cusatuzumab (ARGX-110), will follow quickly as we enroll newly diagnosed, elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial. We plan to show the full Phase 1 data in December during our annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) workshop, along with the full dataset from the Phase 2 clinical trial of efgartigimod in ITP.”
“We believe we have differentiated antibody design capabilities and continue to show this through reproducible value creation with the robust clinical datasets from our wholly-owned programs, successes from our collaborations including the in-licensing by AbbVie of ARGX-115, and the pipeline we grow using novel targets from esteemed academic institutions.”
THIRD QUARTER 2018 AND RECENT HIGHLIGHTS
Q3 2018 FINANCIAL RESULTS
(*) The company has adopted IFRS 15 on January 1, 2018 using a modified retrospective approach. The impact of adopting IFRS 15 amounts to €1.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
Total operating income was €24.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to €30.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. The decrease in operating income in 2018 was due to a decrease of €8.5 million in revenue primarily related to the completion of the preclinical activities under the ongoing collaborations with LEO Pharma and AbbVie. The decrease in revenue was partially offset by an increase of €2.5 million in other operating income, mainly driven by an increase in payroll tax rebates for employing certain research and development personnel and higher grant income following the approval of two VLAIO grants in 2018.
Research and development expenses were €53.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to €36.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. The increase in research and development expenses in 2018 was principally due to (i) an increase of €11.2 million in costs related to the advancement of the clinical development and manufacturing activities of argenx’s product candidates efgartigimod (notably with the start of a Phase 3 registration trial in efgartigimod), cusatuzumab and ARGX-117 and (ii) an increase of €6.2 million in share-based compensation expenses linked to the grant of stock options to the Company’s research and development employees (including an increase of €1.0 million in social security costs on stock options granted to certain Belgian and non-Belgian resident employees). argenx employed 89 employees and consultants in its research and development functions on September 30, 2018, compared to 71 employees and consultants on September 30, 2017.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were €18.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to €7.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. The increase in selling, general and administrative expenses in 2018 is mainly explained by an increase of €9.6 million of personnel expenses resulting primarily from an increase of €7.5 million in share-based compensation expenses linked to the grant of stock options to argenx’s selling, general and administrative employees (including an increase of €1.3 million in social security costs on stock options granted to certain Belgian and non-Belgian resident employees). argenx employed 31 employees and consultants in its selling, general and administration functions on September 30, 2018, compared to 19 employees and consultants on September 30, 2017.
Financial income and exchange gains amounted to €10.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to financial income and exchange losses of €2.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, which was primarily attributable to €8.8 million of unrealized exchange rate gains on the Company’s cash, cash equivalents and current financial assets position in USD linked to the favorable fluctuation of the USD exchange rate in the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
argenx generated a loss for the period and total comprehensive loss of €36.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to a loss for the period and total comprehensive loss of €16.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017.
On September 30, 2018, argenx’s cash, cash equivalents and current financial assets amounted to €582.3 million, compared to €359.8 million on December 31, 2017. The significant increase in its cash balance on September 30, 2018 resulted from the follow-on U.S. public offering of ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Select Market completed in September 2018.
For further information, please contact:
Joke Comijn, Director Corporate Communications & Investor Relations (EU)
+32 (0)477 77 29 44
+32 (0)9 310 34 19
Beth DelGiacco, VP Investor Relations (US)
+1 518 424 4980
The contents of this announcement include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements.” These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “will,” or “should” and include statements argenx makes concerning the use of its grant funds; argenx’s, and its collaboration partners’, advancement of, and anticipated clinical development, data readouts and regulatory milestones and plans related to argenx’s product candidates; the intended results of its strategy; its financial condition, results of operation and business outlook; the sufficiency of its cash, cash equivalents and current financial assets; and the momentum of its product candidate pipeline. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. argenx’s actual results may differ materially from those predicted by the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including argenx’s expectations regarding its the inherent uncertainties associated with competitive developments, preclinical and clinical trial and product development activities and regulatory approval requirements; argenx’s reliance on collaborations with third parties; estimating the commercial potential of argenx’s product candidates; argenx’s ability to obtain and maintain protection of intellectual property for its technologies and drugs; argenx’s limited operating history; and argenx’s ability to obtain additional funding for operations and to complete the development and commercialization of its product candidates. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other risks can be found in argenx’s U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and reports, including in argenx’s most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC as well as subsequent filings and reports filed by argenx with the SEC. Given these uncertainties, the reader is advised not to place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of publication of this document. argenx undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise the information in this press release, including any forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.