QLT, Inc. (QLTI)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 3, 2012, 8:30 a.m. ET


Karen Peterson – IR Specialist

Robert Butchofsky – President and CEO

Cameron Nelson – VP, Finance and CFO


Scott Henry – Roth Capital Partners

Steve (Ewe) – Leerink Swann

Phillippa Flint – Bloomberton



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Hello. This is the Chorus Call Conference operator. Welcome to the QLT, Inc. First Quarter 2012 conference call. As a reminder, all participants are in listen-only mode and the conference is being recorded. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions).

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Karen Peterson, Investor Relations Specialist. Please go ahead.

Karen Peterson

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to QLT’s first quarter 2012 earnings conference call. If you have not yet received a copy of our press release, you can find it by visiting our website at


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. The conference call is being webcasted live and will be available on our website for the next 30 days.

Presenting today is Bob Butchofsky, our president and CEO and Cameron Nelson, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Before I turn the call over to Bob, let me review the Safe Harbor statement. On behalf of the speakers who follow, we caution investors that certain statements in this conference call are forward-looking statement within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian Securities Laws.

For the purposes of this caution, we refer to such statements as forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are predictions, only which involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied to making forward-looking statements and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements.

For additional information about the material factors or assumptions underlying such statements and about the material factors that may cause the actual results to vary from those expressed or implied in such statements, please consult our earnings press release, sent out early this morning and available on our corporate website as well as our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities, including the risk factors detailed in the most-recently filed annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. QLT undertakes no obligation to update such information to reflect later events or developments, except as required by law.

This call also includes a discussion of non-GAAP financial measures as defined by applicable securities laws. Additional information concerning our presentation of non-GAAP financial measures has been included in the earnings press release issued today and posted on our website.

And with that, I’ll turn the call over to Bob.

Robert Butchofsky

All right, thanks a lot, Karen. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us on our first quarter 2012 conference call.

I’ll start off with our financial results for the quarter, which were very much in line with our overall expectations. Broadly, Visudyne sales and increased R&D spending were consistent with the guidance we gave in February.

Overall, the main financial metric to highlight is the $3 million adjusted EBITDA loss. And in spite of that, our cash balance increased to $207 million because we received the final $6 million Canadian mortgage payment on our corporate headquarters that we sold just before the financial crisis in 2008.

Cam will walk you through the financials in more detail later on in the call, so I’m really going to spend most of my time this morning providing updates to our development pipeline, starting first with the review of the Synthetic Retinoid Program, followed by the Punctal Plug Delivery Program, and then a short discussion on Visudyne in the macular degeneration market.

So let’s start off with QLT091001, our Synthetic Retinoid product for inherited retinal diseases. AS most of you know, we recently announced a topline data for the retinitis pigmentosa, or RP Phase 1B trial, looking at only a single course of therapy in seven days.

It’s important to highlight that this data represents the first stage of examining the chronic dosing regimens and that we believe the expected treatment dosing regimen for 001 will be a one course of therapy administered more or less on a monthly basis.

Going back to the study, recall that the trial was a global, multi-center, open-label trial conducted among seven leading treatment centers for inherited retinal diseases; the original treatment center at Children’s Hospital at McGill University at Montreal and additional three treatment centers in the U.S., and another three treatment centers in Europe.

The trial enrolled a total of 17 subjects, 14 of which were deemed eligible for the per-protocol analysis and that was based on criteria laid out by the independent equivalent of a rating center at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

The study results showed a statistically significant average improvement in visual field at Day 7 and Day 14 of 34% and 29% respectively. And again, this was following a once-daily exposure to 001 administered orally for a total of seven days.

We subsequently submitted the data to the ARVO meeting, which is starting this meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the data has been accepted and will be presented next Thursday, May 10 as a late-breaker presentation.

The press release has generated considerable excitement about the data among thought leaders in the inherited retinal disease field, so very much looking forward to our 12-minute presentation next Thursday.

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