Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 07, 2018 • 04:30 pm ET


Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Mike Sofia

will allow for less frequent subcutaneous dosing.

We're currently carrying out IND enabling studies and expect to bring AB-729 into clinical development sometime in the second quarter of next year. As Mark mentioned, we anticipate combining AB-729 with our capsid inhibitor AB-506, once these agents have completed their initial monotherapy studies in patients. As Mark also mentioned, AB-506, our second generation capsid inhibitor, has progressed with healthy volunteer portion of the Phase Ia/Ib study and into HBV patients. This portion of study is a 28-day dose escalation study, which will include combinations with new therapy. We expect the results of these studies to be available in the second quarter of next year.

I would like now to turn the call over to Dave.

David Hastings

Thanks Mike, and good afternoon, everybody. I'll start today by discussing the Company's cash position and runway. Cash and cash used are more important financial metrics. At September 30, 2018, we had a cash and investments balance of $142 million, compared to $155 million at June 30 and $139 million at December 31. Our cash used in operating activities during Q3 2018 was $13.2 million and on a year-to-date basis, our cash used in operating activities has been $50.8 million.

We expect our total cash burn for 2018 to be within our previous guidance of $70 million consistent of approximately $65 million for ongoing operations and R&D investment and $5 million for one-time cost related to the closure of the Burnaby facility.

And while we're not giving 2019 cash burn guidance yet, I can say that our current cash and investment balance should support us into 2020. The only other area I'd like to address today is a various non-cash adjustments included in this quarter. These adjustments include $14.8 million write down of the intangible asset related to our first-generation capsid inhibitor, AB-423, which we've decided to indefinitely defer developing due to the advancement of our next-generation capsid inhibitor, AB-506.

This write-down was partially offset by the related decrease in deferred taxes of $4.3 million and a reduction in our contingent consideration liability of $5.6 million. And finally, we also recorded for the first time in Q3, our share of losses and our equity investee, Genevant, which was $2.8 million. So with that, I'll turn the call back to Mark.

Mark Murray

Thanks Dave. As you heard, we're in a strong financial position to proceed with advancing the pipeline in building our Company. Over the past month, we've made some important strategic additions to our team and our Board of Directors. Dr. Gaston Picchio has joined our executive team in the role of Chief Development Officer, and we've appointed Dr. Bill Simmons as the Chair of our Clinical Advisory Board, where Bill will continue to contribute to Arbutus in this important role.

We also announced the appointments of Myrtle Potter and Jim Meyers to our Board of Directors. I'm very pleased with these additions to our executive team in our Board. Each of these individuals brings us significant expertise