Considerable losses and extended timelines for drug approval are keeping ProMetic Life Sciences (ProMetic Life Sciences Stock Quote, Chart, News TSX:PLI) a “Hold” for analyst Douglas Loe of Echelon Wealth Partners, who in a client update on Tuesday dropped his price target from $15.00 to $9.25 per share, representing a projected return of 1.8 per cent at the time of publication.
Plasma products and small molecule drug developer ProMetic reported its second quarter ended June 30, 2019, results on Monday, posting total revenues of $8.8 million, down from $20.2 million a year ago, and a net loss of $133.7 million compared to a net loss of $33.1 million a year ago. The drop in revenue stems from a decrease in sales of excess normal source plasma inventory, according to management, while the net loss was driven by the impact of the loss on extinguishing liabilities caused by the company’s debt restructuring of $92.3 million over the quarter and the increase in share-based compensation.
ProMetic went through major refinancing over the quarter in attempt to deal with its financial woes, raising $114.4 million through a private placement and concurrent equity rights offering, a debt conversion of $228.9 million into common shares and a 1000-to-one share consolidation.
“During the second quarter, we were able to complete a series of financial transactions to stabilize and improve our financial situation at Prometic, and we will look to strengthen our balance sheet further in 2019 as our ongoing business development activities are brought to a conclusion,” said CEO Kenneth Galbraith in the company’s press release. “We are now focused on progressing the development of our novel products, Ryplazim™, PBI-4050 and PBI-4547 to address serious unmet patient needs in life threatening diseases. We look forward to sharing more about our progress in clinical development throughout 2019 and 2020.”
Looking at the Q2, Loe says that he was struck by two observations that in his view help to justify his sustained caution about the stock. On the one hand, Loe points to the EBITDA losses which for the second quarter were $20.5 million and the fact that the company’s cash balance at the quarter’s end was $81.0 million, amounting to “sustainably high financial risk,” he says.
“We would be less concerned by this magnitude of quarterly EBITDA loss if the firm were already aggressively investing in Phase III activities for various plasma-derived protein therapeutics beyond plasminogen/ Ryplazim (see below) and for derivatized phenylacetate-based anti-fibrotic small-molecule drug PBI-4050, but neither program was actively engaged in clinical activities during the quarter,” writes Loe.
On the other hand, Loe pointed to the expected timelines for resubmitting ProMetic’s revised Biologics License Application to the US FDA for plasminogen/Ryplazim from the second half of this year to the first half of next year. The move means that Ryplazim’s launch moves ahead to fiscal 2021 and thus Loe’s revenue forecasts have to be similarly adjusted.
Overall, Loe is now calling for fiscal 2019 revenue and EBITDA of $45.8 million and negative $67.2 million, respectively, and fiscal 2020 revenue and EBITDA of $48.1 million and negative $57.9 million, respectively. Loe now forecasts ProMetic to become EBITDA-positive by 2024.