Antigenics Inc. (AGEN)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

July 29, 2010 11:00 am ET



Shalini Sharp - VP and CFO

Garo Armen - Chairman and CEO


Ren Benjamin - Rodman



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» Antigenics Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
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» Antigenics, Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings Call Transcript

At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Antigenics second quarter 2010 earnings call. (Operator Instructions) I will now turn the call over to Ms. Sharp, Vice President and CFO.

Shalini Sharp

Welcome to Antigenics conference call to discuss the financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2010. With me today is Dr. Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO.

We hope that all of you have had a chance to review the press release that was issued this morning. During this call, we will review the financial results as well as provide a corporate update. We will then have a Q&A session.

But before we continue, I would like to remind you that this conference call will contain forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the company's cash position, timing of potential royalty streams and development and commercialization efforts, timelines, availability of data and potential efficacy with respect to products and product candidates of the company and/or its licensees and partners.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Reference to these risks and uncertainties is made in today's press release and they're disclosed in more detail in our most recent filings with the U.S. SEC. These statements speak only as of the date of this call and Antigenics undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. When evaluating Antigenics' business and securities, investors should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.

For the purpose of this call, the phrase 'net cash' is used in operating activities plus capital expenditures, debt repayments and dividend payments. As a reminder, this call is being recorded for audio replay.

With that, I will now review our financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2010, Antigenics incurred a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $5.2 million or $0.05 per share. This is compared with a net loss of $12.3 million or $0.17 per share for the same period in 2009. For the six months ended June 30, 2010, the company incurred a net loss of $14.2 million or $0.15 per share compared with $22 million or $0.31 per share for the comparable period in 2009.

Antigenics recognized revenues in this quarter of $805,000 compared with $1.3 million during the same period in 2009. The decrease is primarily due to timing of shipments of QS-21 to our licensees.

Research and development expenses in the second quarter of 2010 were $2.6 million compared with $5 million for the comparable period in 2009. General and administrative expenses in the second quarter of 2010 were $2.8 million compared with $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2009. These decreases reflect, among other items, our cost containment efforts.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments amounted to $28.7 million as of June 30, 2010. Our net cash burn for Q2 2010 was $3.5 million compared with $5.7 million in 2009. This reduction primarily reflects our cost containment efforts. We continue to anticipate that our net cash burn for the full year 2010 will be in the range of $16 million to $18 million.

This concludes the financial portion of the call. I will now provide a brief corporate update. I'll begin with an update on AG-707, our off-the-shelf genital herpes therapeutic vaccine.

Just this past Tuesday, data from the Phase 1 trial measuring safety and immunogenicity was presented at the International Herpes Workshop. The data showed that all evaluable patients treated with AG-707 and our proprietary QS-21 adjuvant amounted to CD4+ T-cell response and 63% amounted to CD8+ T-cell response. This finding was the first of its kind in genital herpes therapy according to our investigators.

The trial was conducted at the University of Washington Virology Center, which is the world-leading center for herpes therapy. And the investigators involved with the trial are considered among the top world experts in this area. According to the Centers for Disease Control, genital herpes affects more than 60 million Americans. There is no cure and there is increasing resistance to current therapies.

AG-707 may hold promise in managing outbreaks and disease transmission. Current antivirals require typically daily administration and only work while the patient is taking the medication. Our vaccine approach potentially offers a fundamentally new way to treat this virus by eradicating it altogether and not just suppressing it. Additionally, our vaccine approach could address a significant potential compliance issues associated with current approaches.

AG-707 consists of recombinant human heat shock protein-70 complexed with 32 distinct 35-mer synthetic peptides from the HSV-2 proteome. This extraordinarily broad spectrum of herpes antigens is intended to allow for more accurate immune targeting and surveillance. Further, the diversity of antigens in AG-707 increases the chance of providing efficacy for a wider segment of the patient population.

Potentially, this product concept of combining Antigenics' peptides and heat shock proteins could be a fight to many infectious disease pathogens. This data represents our first human proof-of-concept for this entire infectious disease platform. It also corroborates what we have seen to date in a number of cancer indications with HSV-based therapy.

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