With the release of WntResearch’s fourth quarter 2022 financial report, two factors are in focus for the cancer therapy company. The first is the new observations made in the NeoFox study, and the second is the share issue that was carried out shortly after the turn of the year. BioStock contacted CEO Pernilla Sandwall to hear more about the past year and the company’s plans for 2023.
WntResearch develops the cancer therapy candidate Foxy-5. The drug mimics the endogenous protein WNT5A, which has been shown to inhibit the motility of cancer cells. According to the company, Foxy-5, with its similar characteristics, should be able to reduce the risk of spreading cancer cells that can form metastases.
New observations in the NeoFox study
In the financial statements for 2022, the positive data from the ongoing phase II study NeoFox, published in August, stand out as the most important milestone of the year. During the fourth quarter, WntResearch was able to confirm signs of Foxy-5 efficacy already after three weeks of treatment in additional patients. The study is now being adapted to these discoveries with endpoints that will prospectively confirm the observations.
According to the company, the change will significantly shorten the timeline of the trial per patient compared to the previous study plan. According to the new plan, efficacy will be measured after three weeks of treatment with Foxy-5, instead of two years as previously planned. The company expects regulatory approval of the new study plan in the spring.
Successful share issue
Net profit for WntResearch’s fourth quarter 2022 was -6,82 million SEK, compared with -13.9 million SEK for the same quarter last year. The company’s cash equivalents at the end of the period amounted to 9.9 million SEK. Cash flow during the quarter amounted to -7.8 million SEK, compared to -8.6 million SEK last year. At the turn of the year, a rights issue was carried out, which, despite tough stock market times, was subscribed to 76.3 per cent. No underwriting had to be used and the transaction was thus less costly than initially expected. The issue provided the company with approximately 26.5 million SEK, which is expected to be sufficient for operations for one year ahead.
Two option programmes in 2023
During the year, the company also has two option programmes coming up. First is TO5, with a subscription period from March 23 to April 5, 2023. Each subscription in TO5 entitles the holder to subscribe for 1.03 new shares at an exercise price corresponding to 70 per cent of the volume-weighted average price of the company’s share with the measurement period 8 March 2023 to and including 21 March 2023. The last day of trading for the warrants is April 3. September 6 – 20, 2023 is the subscription period for TO6, and the last day of trading takes place on September 15.
Comments from the CEO
BioStock contacted the company’s CEO Pernilla Sandwall for a comment on the latest quarter and a look ahead.
First of all, how would you describe the past year?
– For the company a fantastic milestone to be able to observe signs of efficacy in patients; it’s the first time! For me personally, it has been incredibly interesting, intense and fun!
You recently received 26,5 million SEK in your rights issue. How do you see the participation in the issue?
– I am extremely pleased with the confidence our shareholders showed us. These are difficult times, and many shareholders have been affected by the stock market downturn that has occurred at all and there were and are many companies that need financing. We are high above what became the average for our industry in 2022 and it is extra fun.
In 2023, you will also be involved with two warrants. How are the proceeds meant to be used?
– All additional funding make a difference in our financing. The proceeds will primarily be used for our phase II study, which intends to demonstrate efficacy of our drug candidate Foxy-5.
What can we expect from Wnt in the coming year?
– Now in 2023, we continue with changes to our study plan and hopefully receive its approval by the authorities in the countries where we are conducting the study, Hungary and Spain. After that, we can bring new patients into the study and gather more data. Another important activity is to intensify the work of identifying potential partners with a strong presence in oncology to develop Foxy-5. In parallel, our two option programmes will be implemented.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.