PureTech Health extends cash runway by one year to 2025


PureTech Health PLC (LON:PRTC) said in its full-year results it is well-positioned for an exciting year ahead.

The clinical-stage biotherapeutics company said it now has 26 therapeutics and therapeutic candidates being advanced through its wholly-owned pipeline or its founded entities.

Furthermore, it has the cash to develop this pipeline, with cash and cash equivalents at the end of March standing at US$443.4mln, up from US$349.4mln at the end of 2020.

Revenue in 2020 rose to US$11.77mln from US$9.81mln in 2019, with contract revenue from licensing and partnerships little changed at US$8.34mln (2019: US$8.69mln) while grant revenue increased to US$3.43mln from US$1.12mln the year before.

General and administrative expenses were cut back to US$49.44mln in 2020 from US$59.36mln while research & development expenditure eased a tad to US$81.86mln from US$85.85mln.

Largely reflecting a reduction in other income (US$178mln in 2020 vs US$672.17mln in 2019) as a result of changes in ownership of subsidiary companies, the profit before tax declined to US$18.97mln from 2019’s US$478.47mln.

“We made notable progress in the advancement of our wholly-owned pipeline this year, initiating four clinical trials and reporting the successful completion of one clinical trial. We are currently evaluating two candidates – LYT-100 and LYT-200 – across three different indications where there is serious need,” said Daphne Zohar, the founder and chief executive officer of PureTech.

“I am also pleased to have expanded our wholly-owned pipeline with the nomination of a new therapeutic candidate, LYT-300 (oral allopregnanolone), which we expect to enter a clinical trial by the end of 2021,” she added.

“We are well-positioned for an exciting year ahead, which we expect will include multiple value drivers across our wholly-owned programmes and our founded entities, including at least ten expected clinical trial initiations and nine expected readouts,” Zohar said.

Liberum reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation and 550p target price, saying the 2020 results marked an excellent year of progress that saw the company strengthen its balance sheet and internal pipeline.

“Last year PureTech sold down a significant proportion of their holding in Karuna, realising proceeds of $345m during the year. Post-close a further share sale crystallised $118m and this leaves PureTech with $443.4m as of the end of March 2021, sufficient to fund PueTech’s operations through to the first quarter of 2025. This is one year further than previous guidance.

“As a result, the company is extremely well-positioned to progress its internal pipeline, and even expand this pipeline through in-licensing activities,” the broker said.

Peel Hunt said the stock is one of its top three picks for 2021, following on from 2019 and 2020 when it was also one of the broker’s top three picks.

“Annual results are of marginal import to biotech stories where clinical trial results and transactions are the main attraction, but we are highly encouraged by the extension of the cash runway out to Q1 25, the positive comments on Plenity’s (obesity) early launch trajectory and the ongoing pipeline progress,” Peel Hunt said.

“PureTech announced that its cash runway now extends out to Q1 25, an advance of a full year over the previous guidance,” the broker noted.

“This increased runway was never in doubt, in our view, given the tranches of PureTech’s remaining stock holdings in listed founded entity Karuna that have been converted to cash over the last year. PureTech and its founded entities raised US$247.8mln in 2020, almost all of which was from third parties, and a further US$473.2mln from the Vor IPO and further Karuna monetisation in February 2021.

Peel Hunt has a target price of 930p for PureTech.

Shares in PureTech were trading 1% higher at 416p in late morning trading.

— adds broker comment and share price reaction —


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