Nektar Therapeutics Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2017 Financial Results

Published: Mar 01, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

Cash and investments in marketable securities at December 31, 2017 were $353.2 million as compared to $389.1 million at December 31, 2016. This does not include $1.85 billion in upfront payments from the new Bristol-Myers Squibb collaboration, which was announced on February 14, 2018.

"This past year was truly transformational for Nektar as we achieved a number of successes with Nektar medicines across our three key therapeutic areas of immuno-oncology, immunology and pain," said Howard W. Robin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nektar. "In the area of pain, we completed a successful Phase 3 program for NKTR-181 in over 2,100 patients and healthy volunteers that will comprise our NDA submission in the second quarter of this year. In immunology, we entered into a major partnership with Eli Lilly for NKTR-358, a potential first-in-class T regulatory resolution therapeutic, which will be developed to treat a broad range of auto-immune disorders. Finally, in immuno-oncology, the clinical success we achieved with NKTR-214 led to a groundbreaking collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb that now enables us to broadly and rapidly advance NKTR-214 into over 20 registrational trials in up to 15,000 patients."

Summary of Financial Results

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $95.5 million as compared to $37.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 included a total of $60.0 million of non-recurring revenue related to a new sublicense agreement, a contract settlement agreement and the recognition of deferred revenue from several collaboration agreements.

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $307.7 million as compared to $165.4 million in 2016. Revenue in 2017 included recognition of $130.1 million of the $150.0 million upfront payment from Nektar's collaboration with Eli Lilly & Company for the development and commercialization of NKTR-358.

Total operating costs and expenses in the fourth quarter of 2017 were $119.5 million as compared to $69.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Total operating costs and expenses increased primarily as a result of higher research and development (R&D) expense. Total operating costs and expenses for the year ended December 31, 2017 were $367.4 million as compared to $278.3 million in 2016.

R&D expense in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $81.4 million as compared to $50.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. R&D expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $268.5 million as compared to $203.8 million in 2016. R&D expense was higher in 2017 as compared to 2016 primarily because of expenses for our pipeline programs, including the completion of Phase 3 clinical studies for NKTR-181, Phase 1/2 clinical studies of NKTR-214 and NKTR-358, and IND-enabling activities for NKTR-262 and NKTR-255.

General and administrative (G&A) expense was $12.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 as compared to $12.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. G&A expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $52.4 million as compared to $44.3 million in 2016.

Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $33.8 million or $0.21 loss per share as compared to a net loss of $42.2 million or $0.28 loss per share in the fourth quarter of 2016. Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $96.7 million or $0.62 loss per share as compared to a net loss of $153.5 million or $1.10 loss per share in 2016.

2017 and Year-to-Date Business Highlights

  • In February 2018, Nektar and Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into a global development and commercialization agreement to evaluate the full potential of NKTR-214 plus Opdivo® (nivolumab) in more than 20 indications in 9 tumor types including melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder and triple negative breast cancer. The first pivotal studies in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma are expected to be initiated in mid-2018.
  • In December 2017, Nektar submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for NKTR-262, a small molecule agonist that targets toll-like receptors (TLRs) found on innate immune cells in the body. The REVEAL Phase 1/2 study will evaluate the safety, tolerability and anti-tumor effect of NKTR-262, administered in combination with NKTR-214 (doublet) and in combination with NKTR-214 and nivolumab (triplet), in patients with locally advanced or metastatic cancers. The company plans to enroll the first patients in the REVEAL study in March of 2018.
  • In November 2017, Nektar announced positive data from the dose-escalation stage of the PIVOT-02 study of NKTR-214 in combination with Opdivo at the 2017 SITC conference. Results showed compelling response rates and favorable safety data in both PD-L1 negative and PD-L1 positive patients with melanoma, renal cell carcinoma and non-small cell lung cancer.
  • In September 2017, Nektar initiated the PROPEL clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of NKTR-214 in combination with approved checkpoint inhibitors, TECENTRIQ®(atezolizumab) and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in patients with bladder and non-small cell lung cancer. Data from the PROPEL study is expected in the second half of 2018.
  • In July 2017, Nektar and Eli Lilly announced a strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize NKTR-358, a potential first-in-class resolution therapeutic, that addresses an underlying immune system imbalance in patients with auto-immune conditions. A Phase 1 singe-ascending dose study is underway and a Phase 1/2 multiple-ascending dose study of NKTR-358 in patients with lupus is planned to begin in the second quarter of 2018.
  • In July 2017, Nektar announced positive results from a Human Abuse Potential (HAP) study of NKTR-181, a first-in-class opioid analgesic.
  • In May 2017, Nektar announced a new research collaboration with Takeda to explore the combination of NKTR-214 with five oncology compounds from Takeda's cancer portfolio including a SYK-inhibitor and a proteasome inhibitor.
  • In March 2017, Nektar announced positive results from the SUMMIT-07 Phase 3 efficacy study of NKTR-181 in over 600 patients with chronic low back pain. The primary efficacy endpoint of the study demonstrated significantly improved chronic back pain relief with NKTR-181 compared to placebo (p=0.0019). Key secondary endpoints of the study also achieved high statistical significance. The study demonstrated that NKTR-181 had a favorable safety profile and was well tolerated.

The company also announced upcoming presentations at the following scientific congresses during the first half of 2018:

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, IL:

  • Abstract 3755/Poster 5: "Comprehensive antitumor immune activation by a novel TLR7/8 targeting agent NKTR-262 combined with CD122-biased immunostimulatory cytokine NKTR-214", Kivimae, S., et al.
    • Session: Immunology: Immunomodulatory Agents and Interventions 1
    • Session Date and Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central Time
    • Location: McCormick Place South, Exhibit Hall A, Poster Section 32
  • Abstract 2755/Poster 17: "NKTR-262: Prodrug pharmacokinetics in mice, rats, and dogs", Lee, M., et al.
    • Session: Immunology: Immune Mechanisms Invoked by Therapies 1
    • Session Date and Time: Monday, April 16, 2018, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central Time
    • Location: McCormick Place South, Exhibit Hall A, Poster Section 33
  • Abstract 123/Poster 13: "Enhanced anti-tumor activity of the combination of entinostat and NKTR-214 in renal and colon cancer tumor models", Wang, L., et al.
    • Session: Tumor Biology: Role of the Innate Immune System in Tumorigenesis
    • Session Date and Time: Sunday, April 15, 2018, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central Time
    • Location: McCormick Place South, Exhibit Hall A, Poster Section 5
  • Abstract 3566/Poster 4: "Enhanced expansion and tumor targeting of adoptively transferred T cells with NKTR-214", Parisi, G., et al.
    • Session: Clinical Research: Adoptive Cell Therapy 3
    • Session Date and Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central Time
    • Location: McCormick Place South, Exhibit Hall A, Poster Section 24

Antigen-Specific Immune Tolerance Drug Development Summit 2018, Boston, MA:

  • Preclinical Data Presentation: "NKTR-358: A Selective Regulatory T Cell Inducing Agent for the Treatment of Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases"
    • Presenter: Jonathan Zalevsky, Ph.D., Nektar Therapeutics
    • Date and Time: Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time

American Academy of Pain Medicine 34th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC:

  • Poster: "Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of NKTR-181 in patients with moderate to severe chronic low-back pain: A Phase 3 study"
    • Presenter: John Markman, M.D., University of Rochester Medical Center
    • Session: Poster Session 2
    • Date and Time: Friday, April 27, 2018, 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time
  • Poster: "Measuring withdrawal in a phase 3 study of a new analgesic, NKTR-181, in subjects with moderate-to-severe chronic low-back pain"
    • Presenter: Jack Henningfield, Ph.D., Pinney Associates
    • Session: Poster Session 2
    • Date: Friday, April 27, 2018, 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Treg Directed Therapy for Autoimmune Disorders Meeting, Boston, MA:

  • Preclinical Data Presentation: "NKTR-358: An IL-2 Pathway Agonist that Selectively Expands and Activates Regulatory T cells for the Treatment of Allergy and Autoimmune Disease"
    • Presenter: Jonathan Zalevsky, Ph.D., Nektar Therapeutics
    • Session: Enhanced Treg-based therapy with the use of IL-2
    • Date and Time: Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 3:40 p.m. Eastern Time

3rd Annual Advances in Immuno-Oncology Congress, London, U.K.:

  • Presentation: "Accessing The Potential Of An Immunotherapeutic Agent"
    • Presenter: Jonathan Zalevsky, Ph.D., Nektar Therapeutics
    • Session: Translational Immuno-Oncology
    • Date and Time: Thursday, May 24, 2018, 5:40 p.m. London Time

College on Problems of Drug Dependence 80th Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, CA:

  • Oral Presentation: "Neuropharmacodynamic Profile of NKTR-181: Correlation to Low Abuse Potential"
    • Presenter: Laurie VanderVeen, Ph.D., Nektar Therapeutics
    • Session: Preclinical Opioid
    • Date and Time: Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time
  • Oral Presentation: "Assessment of Drug Abuse-Related Events with MADDERS in SUMMIT-07: A Phase-3 Study of NKTR-181 in Patients With Moderate to Severe Chronic Low-Back Pain"
    • Presenter: Ryan K. Lanier, Ph.D., Analgesic Solutions
    • Session: Pain
    • Date and Time: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Pacific Time

Conference Call to Discuss Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2017 Financial Results
Nektar management will host a conference call to review the results beginning at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time/2:00 p.m. Pacific Time today, Thursday, March 1, 2018.

This press release and a live audio-only Webcast of the conference call can be accessed through a link that is posted on the home page and Investors section of the Nektar website: http://ir.nektar.com/. The web broadcast of the conference call will be available for replay through Monday, April 2, 2018.

To access the conference call, follow these instructions:

Dial: (877) 881.2183 (U.S.); (970) 315.0453 (international)
Passcode: 6299239 (Nektar Therapeutics is the host)

In the event that any non-GAAP financial measure is discussed on the conference call that is not described in the press release, or explained on the conference call, related information will be made available on the Investors page at the Nektar website as soon as practical after the conclusion of the conference call.

About Nektar Therapeutics
Nektar Therapeutics is a research-based biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover and develop innovative medicines to address the unmet medical needs of patients. Our R&D pipeline of new investigational medicines includes treatments for cancer, auto-immune disease and chronic pain. We leverage Nektar's proprietary and proven chemistry platform in the discovery and design of our new therapeutic candidates. Nektar is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional operations in Huntsville, Alabama and Hyderabad, India. Further information about the company and its drug development programs and capabilities may be found online at http://www.nektar.com.


Opdivo® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb, TECENTRIQ® is a registered trademark of Roche and KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains uncertain or forward-looking statements which can be identified by words such as: "could," "plan," "expect," "prepare," "may," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding the potential therapeutic benefits of and future development plans for our products (including NKTR-214, NKTR-181, NKTR-358, NKTR-262 and NKTR-255), the potential impact of NKTR-181 with respect to the opioid abuse epidemic, the timing and strategy for regulatory filings (including the timing and strategy for filing a new drug application, "NDA"), and the results of clinical trials. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of our control. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements and you should not rely on such statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include: (i) clinical study outcomes remain very unpredictable and it is possible that a clinical study could fail even after positive interim data is observed; (ii) the regulatory pathway to review and approve pharmaceutical products is subject to substantial uncertainty; (iii) the data package required for filing and approval of an NDA to the FDA is very uncertain and difficult to predict due to broad FDA regulatory discretion, and changing FDA regulatory guidelines; (iv) the final outcomes and conclusions from sponsor meetings with FDA are subject to substantial FDA discretion associated with issuing final meeting minutes and outcomes; (v) regulations concerning and controlling access to opioid-based pharmaceuticals are strict and it is difficult to predict which scheduling category will apply to NKTR-181 if regulatory approval is achieved; (vi) the timing of regulatory approval for the recently announced strategic collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb is uncertain; (vii) patents may not issue from our patent applications for our drug candidates, patents that have issued may not be enforceable, or additional intellectual property licenses from third parties may be required; and (viii) certain other important risks and uncertainties set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, 2018. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

Contact:
For Investors:
Jennifer Ruddock of Nektar Therapeutics
415-482-5585

Jodi Sievers of Nektar Therapeutics
415-482-5593

For Media:
Jennifer Paganelli
347-658-8290
jpaganelli@purecommunications.com

                                                                                                              NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS

                                                                                                     CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

                                                                                                                 (In thousands)

                                                                                                                  (Unaudited)


                                                          ASSETS                                                                           December 31, 2017             (1)    December 31, 2016              (1)
                                                                                                                                        -----------------                    -----------------

    Current assets:

                               Cash and cash equivalents                                                                                                          $4,762                               $59,640

                               Short-term investments                                                                                                            291,370                               329,462

                               Accounts receivable, net                                                                                                            5,014                                15,678

                               Inventory                                                                                                                          10,726                                11,109

                               Other current assets                                                                                                               14,948                                10,063
                               --------------------

                               Total current assets                                                                                                              326,820                               425,952


    Long-term investments                                                                                                                                       57,088                                     -

    Property, plant and equipment, net                                                                                                                          47,463                                65,601

    Goodwill                                                                                                                                                    76,501                                76,501

    Other assets                                                                                                                                                   994                                   817
                                                                                                                                                                   ---                                   ---

                               Total assets                                                                                                                     $508,866                              $568,871
                                                                                                                                                                ========                              ========


                                                                   LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY


    Current liabilities:

                               Accounts payable                                                                                                                   $4,782                                $2,816

                               Accrued compensation                                                                                                                8,263                                18,280

                               Accrued clinical trial expenses                                                                                                     9,461                                 7,958

                               Other accrued expenses                                                                                                             10,064                                 4,711

                               Interest payable                                                                                                                    4,198                                 4,198

                                Liability related to refundable upfront
                                payment                                                                                                                                -                               12,500

                               Deferred revenue, current portion                                                                                                  18,949                                14,352

                               Other current liabilities                                                                                                             446                                 7,407
                               --------------------

                               Total current liabilities                                                                                                          56,163                                72,222


    Senior secured notes, net                                                                                                                                  245,207                               243,464

    Liability related to the sale of future royalties, net                                                                                                      94,655                               105,950

    Deferred revenue, less current portion                                                                                                                      19,021                                51,887

    Other long-term liabilities                                                                                                                                  5,992                                 7,223
                                                                                                                                                                 -----                                 -----

                               Total liabilities                                                                                                                 421,038                               480,746


    Commitments and contingencies


    Stockholders' equity:

                               Preferred stock                                                                                                                         -                                    -

                               Common stock                                                                                                                           15                                    15

                               Capital in excess of par value                                                                                                  2,207,865                             2,111,483

                               Accumulated other comprehensive loss                                                                                              (2,111)                              (2,363)

                               Accumulated deficit                                                                                                           (2,117,941)                          (2,021,010)
                               -------------------

                               Total stockholders' equity                                                                                                         87,828                                88,125

                                Total liabilities and stockholders'
                                equity                                                                                                                          $508,866                              $568,871
                               ====================================
    (1) The consolidated balance
     sheets at December 31, 2017 and
     2016 have been derived from the
     audited financial statements at
     those dates but do not include
     all of the information and
     notes required by generally
     accepted accounting principles
     in the United States for
     complete financial statements.

 

                                                  NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS

                                    CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

                                      (In thousands, except per share information)

                                                      (Unaudited)


                                     Three Months Ended December 31,                  Year Ended December 31,
                                     -------------------------------                -----------------------

                                               2017                          2016                 2017     (1)          2016 (1)
                                               ----                          ----                 ----                  ----


    Revenue:

    Product sales                            $7,791                       $13,690              $32,688               $55,354

    Royalty revenue                           9,574                         6,392               33,527                19,542

    Non-cash royalty
     revenue related to
     sale of future
     royalties                                9,164                         7,817               30,531                30,158

    License,
     collaboration and
     other revenue                           68,937                         9,553              210,965                60,382
                                             ------                         -----              -------                ------

    Total revenue                            95,466                        37,452              307,711               165,436


    Operating costs and expenses:

    Cost of goods sold                        9,753                         6,604               30,547                30,215

    Research and
     development                             81,429                        50,232              268,461               203,801

    General and
     administrative                          12,337                        12,760               52,364                44,275

    Impairment of
     equipment and other
     costs for
     terminated program                      15,981                             -              15,981                     -

    Total operating
     costs and expenses                     119,500                        69,596              367,353               278,291
                                            -------                        ------              -------               -------


    Loss from operations                   (24,034)                     (32,144)            (59,642)            (112,855)


    Non-operating income (expense):

    Interest expense                        (5,633)                      (5,550)            (22,085)             (22,468)

    Non-cash interest
     expense on
     liability related
     to sale of future
     royalties                              (5,334)                      (4,783)            (18,869)             (19,712)

    Interest income and
     other income
     (expense), net                           1,357                           721                4,520                 2,387
                                              -----                           ---                -----                 -----

    Total non-operating
     expense, net                           (9,610)                      (9,612)            (36,434)             (39,793)


    Loss before
     provision for
     income taxes                          (33,644)                     (41,756)            (96,076)            (152,648)


    Provision for income
     taxes                                      182                           443                  616                   876
                                                ---                           ---                  ---                   ---

    Net loss                              $(33,826)                    $(42,199)           $(96,692)           $(153,524)
                                           ========                      ========             ========             =========


    Basic and diluted
     net loss per share                     $(0.21)                      $(0.28)             $(0.62)              $(1.10)
                                             ======                        ======               ======                ======


    Weighted average
     shares outstanding
     used in computing
     basic and diluted
     net loss per share                     158,324                       149,071              155,953               139,596
                                            =======                       =======              =======               =======
    (1) The consolidated statements
     of operations for the years
     ended December 31, 2017 and
     2016 have been derived from the
     audited financial statements as
     of those dates but do not
     include all of the information
     and notes required by generally
     accepted accounting principles
     in the United States for
     complete financial statements.

 

                                                  NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS

                                    CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

                                                     (In thousands)

                                                      (Unaudited)

                                                                                       Year Ended December 31,
                                                                                       -----------------------

                                                                                         2017     (1)           2016 (1)
                                                                                         ----                   ----

    Cash flows from operating activities:

    Net loss                                                                        $(96,692)            $(153,524)

    Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:

    Non-cash royalty revenue related to sale of future royalties                     (30,531)              (30,158)

    Non-cash interest expense on liability related to sale of
     future royalties                                                                  18,869                 19,712

    Stock-based compensation                                                           36,615                 25,850

    Depreciation and amortization                                                      14,741                 15,351

    Impairment of equipment from terminated program                                    15,081                      -

    Other non-cash transactions                                                         (881)               (2,185)

    Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

    Accounts receivable, net                                                           10,664                  4,269

    Inventory                                                                             383                    237

    Other assets                                                                      (4,800)                 (312)

    Accounts payable                                                                    2,074                    518

    Accrued compensation                                                             (10,017)                12,282

    Accrued clinical trial expenses                                                     1,503                  (262)

    Other accrued expenses                                                              5,774                    191

    Liability related to refundable upfront payment                                  (12,500)                12,500

    Deferred revenue                                                                 (28,269)              (17,615)

    Other liabilities                                                                 (2,428)               (3,878)
                                                                                       ------                 ------

    Net cash used in operating activities                                            (80,414)             (117,024)


    Cash flows from investing activities:

    Purchases of investments                                                        (404,425)             (334,659)

    Maturities of investments                                                         347,743                253,682

    Sales of investments                                                               37,549                  4,969

    Purchases of property, plant and equipment                                        (9,676)               (6,392)
                                                                                       ------                 ------

    Net cash used in investing activities                                            (28,809)              (82,400)


    Cash flows from financing activities:

    Payment of capital lease obligations                                              (5,131)               (5,945)

    Proceeds from shares issued under equity compensation plans                        59,522                 20,287

    Issuance of common stock, net of issuance costs                                         -               189,276
                                                                                          ---               -------

    Net cash provided by financing activities                                          54,391                203,618


    Effect of exchange rates on cash and cash equivalents                                (46)                 (124)
                                                                                          ---                   ----

    Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents                             (54,878)                 4,070

    Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year                                     59,640                 55,570

    Cash and cash equivalents at end of year                                           $4,762                $59,640
                                                                                       ======                =======


    Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:

    Cash paid for interest                                                            $20,116                $20,589
                                                                                      =======                =======

    Cash paid for income taxes                                                           $556                   $757
                                                                                         ====                   ====
    (1) The consolidated statements
     of cash flows for the years
     ended December 31, 2017 and
     2016 have been derived from the
     audited financial statements as
     of those dates but do not
     include all of the information
     and notes required by generally
     accepted accounting principles
     in the United States for
     complete financial statements.

 

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SOURCE Nektar Therapeutics

 

Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:NKTR
 

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