Protara Therapeutics Announces First Quarter 2023 Financial Results and Business Update
- Favorable tolerability and anti-tumor activity observed in NMIBC patients treated with TARA-002 in ADVANCED-1 trial
- Company plans to initiate ADVANCED-2 trial in BCG-naïve CIS patients and BCG-unresponsive CIS patients in 2H23
- Regulatory clearance received from FDA to commence Phase 2 trial of TARA-002 in Lymphatic Malformations; trial expected to initiate in Q423
- Continue to expect cash, cash equivalents and investments of
$90Mas of March 31, 2023to fund operations into 2025
“We are off to a strong start in 2023, notably with the recent presentation of positive preliminary data from the dose escalation portion of the ADVANCED-1 trial of TARA-002 in patients with high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and expect to sustain this productive momentum in the months ahead,” said
TARA-002 in NMIBC
April 2023at the American Urological AssociationAnnual Meeting, the Company announced positive preliminary results from the Phase 1a dose-escalation component of the ADVANCED-1 clinical trial of TARA-002, its investigational cell-based therapy, for the treatment of patients with high-grade NMIBC. The clinical data indicate that TARA-002 was generally well tolerated and anti-tumor activity was observed, including tumor regression in all three evaluable patients with CIS, including one heavily pre-treated Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-unresponsive patient who achieved a complete response.
- The Company plans to initiate ADVANCED-2, a Phase 1b/2 open-label trial evaluating intravesical TARA-002 in up to 102 patients with high-grade CIS. The Phase 1b trial is expected to enroll 27 patients with CIS (± Ta/T1), BCG-Naïve or BCG-experienced, who have not received intravesical BCG for at least 24 months prior to CIS diagnosis. The Phase 2 trial is expected to enroll 75 patients with BCG-unresponsive CIS (± Ta/T1). ADVANCED-2 is expected to initiate in the second half of 2023.
TARA-002 in Lymphatic Malformations (LMs)
April 2023, the Company received regulatory clearance from the FDA to commence STARBORN-1, a Phase 2 clinical trial of TARA-002 in pediatric patients with macrocystic and mixed-cystic LMs. Trial start-up activities are well underway in the ten pediatric centers of excellence participating in the trial, and initiation is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023.
IV Choline Chloride in Intestinal Failure Associated Liver Disease (IFALD)
- Protara’s prospective study to enhance understanding of the incidence of IFALD in patients dependent on parenteral nutrition is ongoing, with results expected in the third quarter of 2023. The Company continues to engage with the FDA and plans to use both regulatory feedback and results from the prospective study to inform next steps for the IV Choline Chloride development program.
First Quarter 2023 Financial Results
- As of March 31, 2023, cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash were $89.5 million. The Company expects its current cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund its planned operations into 2025.
- Research and development (R&D) expenses for the first quarter of 2023 decreased to $5.1 million from $5.3 million during the first quarter of 2022.
- General and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2023 decreased to $4.6 million from $5.6 million for the prior year period. This decrease was primarily due to decreases of
$0.5 millionin employee related expenses (including $0.3 millionof stock-based compensation expense), $0.3 millionresulting from a reduction in directors and officers liability insurance premiums, as well as $0.2 millionrelated to a reduction in market development activities.
- For the first quarter of 2023, Protara reported a net loss of $9.0 million, or $0.80 per share, compared with a net loss of $10.8 million, or $0.96 per share, for the same period in 2022. Net loss for the first quarter of 2023 included approximately $1.6 million of stock-based compensation expenses.
TARA-002 is an investigational cell therapy in development for the treatment of NMIBC and of LMs for which it has been granted Rare Pediatric Disease Designation by the
When TARA-002 is administered, it is hypothesized that innate and adaptive immune cells within the cyst or tumor are activated and produce a strong immune cascade. Neutrophils, monocytes and lymphocytes infiltrate the abnormal cells and various cytokines, including interleukins IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, interferon (IFN)-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha are secreted by immune cells to induce a strong inflammatory reaction and destroy the abnormal cells.
About Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC)
Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cancer in
About Lymphatic Malformations (LMs)
LMs are rare, congenital malformations of lymphatic vessels resulting in the failure of these structures to connect or drain into the venous system. Most LMs are present in the head and neck region and are diagnosed in early childhood during the period of active lymphatic growth, with more than 50% detected at birth and 90% diagnosed before the age of 3 years. The most common morbidities and serious manifestations of the disease include compression of the upper aerodigestive tract, including airway obstruction requiring intubation and possible tracheostomy dependence; intralesional bleeding; impingement on critical structures, including nerves, vessels, lymphatics; recurrent infection, and cosmetic and other functional disabilities.
About IV Choline Chloride and Intestinal Failure-associated Liver Disease (IFALD)
IV Choline Chloride is an investigational, intravenous (IV) phospholipid substrate replacement therapy initially in development for patients receiving parenteral nutrition (PN) who have IFALD. Choline is a known important substrate for phospholipids that are critical for healthy liver function. Because PN patients cannot sufficiently absorb adequate levels of choline and no available PN formulations contain sufficient amounts of choline to correct this deficiency, PN patients often experience a prolonged progression to hepatic failure and death, with the only known intervention being a dual small bowel/liver transplant. If approved, IV Choline Chloride would be the first approved therapy for IFALD. It has been granted Orphan Drug Designations (ODDs) by the FDA for the treatment of IFALD and the prevention of choline deficiency in PN patients.
Protara is committed to advancing transformative therapies for people with cancer and rare diseases. Protara’s portfolio includes its lead program, TARA-002, an investigational cell-based therapy being developed for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and lymphatic malformations, and IV Choline Chloride, an investigational phospholipid substrate replacement for patients dependent on parenteral nutrition. For more information, visit www.protaratx.com.
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Protara may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “designed,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should” or other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to, statements regarding Protara’s intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: Protara’s business strategy, including its development plans for its product candidates and plans regarding the timing or outcome of existing or future clinical trials; statements related to expectations regarding interactions with the FDA; Protara’s financial position; statements regarding the anticipated safety or efficacy of Protara’s product candidates; and Protara’s outlook for the remainder of the year. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: risks that Protara’s financial guidance may not be as expected, as well as risks and uncertainties associated with: Protara’s development programs, including the initiation and completion of non-clinical studies and clinical trials and the timing of required filings with the FDA and other regulatory agencies; general market conditions; changes in the competitive landscape; changes in Protara’s strategic and commercial plans; Protara’s ability to obtain sufficient financing to fund its strategic plans and commercialization efforts; having to use cash in ways or on timing other than expected;; the impact of market volatility on cash reserves; the loss of key members of management; the impact of general
|Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets|
|(in thousands, except share and per share data)|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||21,035||$||24,127|
|Marketable debt securities||65,575||60,243|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||8,006||1,776|
|Total current assets||94,616||86,146|
|Restricted cash, non-current||745||745|
|Marketable debt securities, non-current||2,893||17,886|
|Property and equipment, net||1,521||1,592|
|Operating lease right-of-use asset||6,044||6,277|
|Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity|
|Operating lease liability||933||917|
|Total current liabilities||6,410||5,740|
|Operating lease liability, non-current||5,227||5,467|
|Commitments and contingencies (Note 8)|
|Additional paid-in capital||264,235||262,724|
|Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)||(469||)||(688||)|
|Total stockholders’ equity||94,768||102,083|
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity||$||106,405||$||113,290|
|Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss|
|(in thousands, except share and per share data)|
|For the Three Months Ended
|Research and development||$||5,143||$||5,269|
|General and administrative||4,589||5,605|
|Total operating expenses||9,732||10,874|
|Loss from operations||(9,732||)||(10,874||)|
|Other income (expense), net:|
|Interest and investment income||687||119|
|Other income (expense), net||687||119|
|Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted||$||(0.80||)||$||(0.96||)|
|Weighted-average shares outstanding, basic and diluted||11,303,869||11,250,127|
|Other comprehensive income (loss):|
|Net unrealized (loss) gain on marketable debt securities||219||(731||)|
|Other comprehensive income (loss)||219||(731||)|
Source: Protara Therapeutics