Prothena Corporation PRTA reported a first-quarter 2023 loss of 89 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 83 cents per share but narrower than our model estimate of 92 cents. In the year-ago quarter, the clinical-stage company had reported a loss of 78 cents per share.
Higher expenses impacted the bottom line.
Total revenues were $2.17 million in the first quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $15 million and our estimate of $6.2 million but increased from $1.15 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues in the quarter primarily included collaboration revenues from Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY.
The company’s shares have gained 16.5% in the year so far against the industry’s decline of 6.1%.
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Quarter in Detail
R&D expenses were $44.8 million, up 64.1% year over year primarily due to higher clinical trial expenses, rising personnel-related expenses, and increased consulting and other R&D expenses.
General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $13.7 million, up from $11.8 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to higher personnel-related and consulting expenses, offset in part by lower legal expenses.
As of Dec 31, 2022, Prothena had $688.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, and no debt. The company raised net proceeds of $172.4 million through an underwritten public follow-on offering of 3,250,000 ordinary shares in December 2022.
Prothena Corporation plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Prothena Corporation plc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Prothena Corporation plc Quote
Prothena is evaluating PRX012 — an investigational high-potency monoclonal antibody targeting a key epitope at the N-terminus of amyloid beta (Aβ) — for treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The company has initiated a phase I single ascending dose (SAD) and multi ascending dose (MAD) studies in healthy volunteers and patients with AD. The top-line data from these studies is expected later in 2023. The FDA has granted Fast Track Designation to PRX012 for the treatment of AD.
Prothena is advancing an early-stage pipeline of programs for a number of potential neurological indications with Bristol-Myers. PRX005 — a potential treatment for AD — is an investigational antibody that targets tau, a protein implicated in diseases including AD, frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other tauopathies.
The company reported the top-line data from the phase I SAD study in January 2023, which showed single doses of PRX005 across three dose cohorts were generally safe and well tolerated, meeting the primary objective of the study. The top-line data from the ongoing phase I MAD study is expected later in 2023.
The company is also developing a dual Aβ-Tau vaccine — a potential prevention and treatment for AD — to target key epitopes within Aβ and tau proteins to promote amyloid clearance and block pathogenic tau interaction. An IND application filing for the vaccine is anticipated by 2023 end.
The company is evaluating prasinezumab in collaboration with Roche RHHBY for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In the first quarter, Roche completed the enrollment for the phase IIb PADOVA study in patients with early PD (NCT04777331) and the top-line data is expected in 2024.
Prothena is also evaluating birtamimab, a potential treatment for AL amyloidosis. It reached a Special Protocol Assessment agreement with the FDA and initiated a confirmatory phase III AFFIRM-AL study of birtamimab in Mayo Stage IV patients with AL amyloidosis in 2021. Results are expected in 2024.
Novo Nordisk NVO acquired Prothena’s clinical-stage antibody, PRX004 (now NNC6019) and a broader ATTR amyloidosis program. The company received a $40-million milestone payment from Novo Nordisk in December 2022 related to the continued advancement of NNC6019 in a phase II study.
Novo Nordisk is conducting a phase II study in patients with ATTR cardiomyopathy and the top-line data is expected in 2024.
Prothena currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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