Immunovaccine Announces 2009 Year End Results
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 04/19/10 -- Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX VENTURE: IMV) ("Immunovaccine" or the "Company"), a vaccine development company, announced today its financial results and operational highlights for the year ended December 31, 2009.
Dr. Randal Chase, Immunovaccine's President & CEO, commented: "In 2009, we continued to execute our business strategy and successfully achieved key milestones on both the clinical and business development fronts. We are well positioned to continue this momentum into 2010 and have already started dosing the first patient in our Phase I trial."
Gary Dodge, Immunovaccine's Chief Financial Officer said: "Immunovaccine's 2009 financial results are in line with our expectations and reflect a continued focus on research and development activities. The cash and cash equivalents of the Company improved by over $7 million during the nine month period due to cash raised from the September 30 private placements along with revenues of $1.4 million from animal health license arrangements. These funds will be used to provide working capital, complete the Phase I clinical trial of DPX-0907, and further the Company's other ongoing pre-clinical studies."
Financial Results for the nine months ended December 31, 2009
-- Reported net loss reduced from $3.7 million for 12 months to March 31, 2009 to $1.7 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2009. -- Ended December 31, 2009 with cash and equivalents of $7.8 million. -- Reported first significant revenues of $1.4 million during the nine months ended December 31, 2009. Revenues earned were through the Company's animal healthcare activities. -- Completed concurrent private placements, raising gross proceeds of almost $8.3 million through brokered and non-brokered private placements, both at a price of $0.70 per share. -- Completed public listing on September 30, 2009 through a reverse take- over (RTO) transaction with Rhino Resources, a capital pool company.
Results from operations
The financial results reflect that Immunovaccine changed its fiscal year end date from March 31 to December 31, with the year end of December 31, 2009 representing the transition year. This review of the consolidated results of operations, financial condition and cash flows compares results for the nine month period ended December 31, 2009 to the year ended March 31, 2009.
Net loss and comprehensive loss decreased from $3,732,000 for the twelve month period ended March 31, 2009 to $1,664,000 for the nine month period ended December 31, 2009, as a result of increases in revenues earned through the Company's animal healthcare activities and changes in operating expenses.
The total amount of research and development (R&D) expenses for the nine months ended December 31, 2009 of $1,802,000 were comparable, on an annualized basis, to the total R&D expenses of $2,422,000 for the twelve months ended March 31, 2009.
General and administrative (G&A) expenses of $992,000 represented 30% of total expenses for the period ended to December 31, 2009, compared to $1,083,000 (26%) of total expenses for the period ended March 31, 2009. This represents an overall decrease in G&A expenses of $143,000 (13%). However, the ongoing level of G&A expenses within the Company have increased from October 1, 2009 due primarily to increased levels of professional fees, regulatory and filing fees, and insurance costs associated with being a public company, as well as the addition of a full time Chief Financial Officer from September 28, 2009.
The Company expanded its business development (BD) activities and marketing communications activities, during the nine months ended December 31, 2009 compared to the twelve months ended March 31, 2009. These activities included attending conferences, investigating a greater number of promising collaboration opportunities with other biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and hiring a Director of Communications. Total BD expenses were $365,000 for the nine-months ended December 31, 2009 and $373,000 twelve months ended March 31, 2009.
The stock-based compensation decreased to $155,000 for the nine months ended December 31, 2009, compared to $259,000 for the twelve months ended March 31, 2009. The decrease was due to a change that was made to the Company's stock option plan in December 2008 when the Company extended the duration of existing stock options from 5 years to 10 years. All new options issued from this time may have a 10 year term.
The level of eligible investment tax credits decreased from approximately 44% to 15% of eligible expenditures, as a result of the Company becoming a public corporation, on October 1, 2009. As a public company, the refundable federal portion of the investment tax credit was reduced from 299,000 for the year ended March 31, 2009 to $180,000 for the year ended December 31, 2009.
Amendment to Stock Option Plan
On April 12, 2010, Immunovaccine's Board of Directors also approved to a change in the number of common shares ("Shares") reserved for issuance under the Company's stock option plan from a "rolling" 10% of the number of Shares issued and outstanding to a "fixed number" of Shares, up to a maximum of 4,500,000 Shares. This represents approximately 9.91% of the issued and outstanding Shares. The modifications to the Stock Option Plan are subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.
Cash and cash equivalents
At December 31, 2009, the Company had cash and equivalents of $7.8 million and identified additional potential cash resources of $2.4 million for a total of approximately $10.2 million. Potential cash resources included amounts receivable of $1.4 million, along with remaining borrowings under existing debt facilities with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The "cash burn rate" of the Company is forecasted to increase slightly due to the commencement of the Phase I clinical trial, and be in the range of $1.5 to $1.7 million per quarter, during fiscal 2010. Management is of the belief that this provides the Company with sufficient funds to execute its existing strategy of completing the Phase I trial and having adequate working capital until the second quarter of 2011. The Company will reassess the adequacy of its available cash resources should either positive research results be obtained from existing research projects, or potential collaboration opportunities be identified that may require additional funding.
Research and Development Highlights:
-- Licensed seven cancer antigens exclusively from Immunotope Inc., an antigen discovery company. These proprietary antigens specifically target breast, ovarian and prostate cancers and are formulated in Immunovaccine's DepoVax delivery platform to develop DPX-0907, the Company's novel therapeutic cancer vaccine. -- Completed Investigational New Drug (IND) application that was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Immunovaccine to begin a Phase I clinical trial examining DPX-0907, a therapeutic cancer vaccine for breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. -- Contracted Cato Research Canada Inc., a contract research organization (CRO), in November 2009 to assist the Company in managing the Phase I clinical trial for DPX-0907.
Since year end, the Company announced on March 29, 2010 that it has started recruiting patients for its Phase I clinical trial. The Phase I study will investigate the safety of DPX-0907, a therapeutic cancer vaccine.
Business Development Highlights:
-- Signed a license agreement with Pfizer Animal Health in November 2009, for Pfizer to use the Company's vaccine delivery platform technology in their development of cattle vaccines; -- Entered into an agreement with the Public University Corporation Yokohama City University (YCU) to review a Pseudomonas aeruginosa vaccine antigen, with an exclusive option to license the antigen. Pseudomonas is a hospital-acquired infection and is harmful to immunocompromised patients. Today, there are no Pseudomonas vaccines approved. -- Entered into eight additional collaborative agreements in 2009 to explore new vaccine applications for DepoVax, the Company's vaccine enhancement system. These collaborations were with institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIAID), La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, Defence Research & Development Canada, FIT Biotech, Scancell Ltd., and the National Cancer Institute.
The Company has continued its growth strategy into 2010. On February 8, 2010, Immunovaccine announced that it was to present at the Canada - U.S. Partners in Biomedical Defense II Conference in Washington, D.C. At the Conference the Company presented positive new research that shows a single-dose of an anthrax antigen, when formulated in DepoVax, is able to raise antibody levels that are 10 times higher on average than a comparable alum-adjuvanted anthrax vaccine.
On March 2, 2010, the Company announced that Pfizer Animal Health would exercise an additional licensing option on the Company's vaccine enhancement and delivery platform to develop a third livestock vaccine.
As the Company continues to execute its business strategy into 2010, the primary objectives will be on actively pursuing additional collaborations and licensing deals, and obtaining safety data for its Phase I clinical trial for DPX-0907. Interim results of the Phase I study are expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The Company's 2009 financial statements and management's discussion and analysis are available on www.sedar.com.
Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX VENTURE: IMV) is a clinical stage vaccine development company focused on the commercialization of its patented DepoVax vaccine delivery technology and product candidates. The company continues to strengthen its vaccine pipeline through licensing and strategic partnerships to develop therapeutic cancer and infectious disease vaccines.
This press release contains forward-looking information under applicable securities law. All information that addresses activities or developments that we expect to occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. However, they should not be regarded as a representation that any of the plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to risks affecting the Company, including access to capital, the successful completion of clinical trials and receipt of all regulatory approvals. A more detailed assessment of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to materially differ from expectations is available in our MD&D and Annual Information Form. Immunovaccine Inc. assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements in this press release.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Contacts: Immunovaccine Inc. Gary Dodge CFO (902) 492-1819 firstname.lastname@example.org Immunovaccine Inc. Jennifer Ayotte Director Communications (902) 492-1819 email@example.com www.imvaccine.com Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc. Andrew Mielach (212) 827-0020 firstname.lastname@example.org
Released April 19, 2010