AC Immune Reports Full Year 2021 Financial Results and Provides Corporate Update
Seven clinical data readouts expected in 2022
Three vaccines, targeting Tau, Abeta and alpha-synuclein, advancing in 2022
Semorinemab Phase 2 Lauriet trial: additional fluid biomarker data expected in H2 2022
Initiation of ACI-24 anti-Abeta vaccine Phase 1b/2 trial in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and people living with Down syndrome (DS) expected in H1 2022
AD/PD™ Conference: ACI-12589 identified as a reliable and accurate PET tracer for alpha-synucleinopathies (e.g. MSA)
Strong financial position of
“Pairing cutting-edge diagnostics with highly targeted and selective therapeutic agents, such as our vaccines targeting alpha-synuclein, phosphorylated-Tau, and Abeta, which are all advancing into later-stage development this year, we aim to shift the therapeutic paradigm of neurodegenerative diseases towards earlier, more accurate diagnosis, treatment, and prevention,”
2021 and Subsequent Highlights
- Expanded the Phase 1b/2a trial evaluating the first-in-class anti-phosphorylated-Tau (pTau) vaccine candidate ACI-35.030 for the treatment of AD in collaboration with
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.The decision to expand the trial, which was made to support plans to advance ACI-35.030 into late-stage development, was based on encouraging interim safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity results. These showed that ACI-35.030 treatment was well tolerated and led to the strong induction of antibodies specific for pathological forms of Tau such as pTau and its aggregated form, enriched paired helical filaments (ePHF).
- Top line data from the Phase 2 Lauriet trial of semorinemab in mild-to-moderate AD presented at CTAD 2021 showed a statistically significant (p=0.0008) 42.2% reduction in cognitive decline vs. placebo as measured by ADAS-Cog11 at week 49, one of the trial’s co-primary endpoints. There were no statistically significant differences between semoribemab and placebo arms in the other co-primary endpoint, ADCS-ADL, or in the secondary endpoints (MMSE and CDR-SB). AC Immune’s partner
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, is continuing with the trial’s open-label extension. Additional fluid biomarker data are expected in H2 2022.
- Presented full results from the landmark Phase 1b clinical trial evaluating the anti-Abeta vaccine ACI-24 in subjects living with Down syndrome (DS) at the Alzheimer’s
Association International Conference(AAIC) 2021. These results showed evidence of immunogenicity and pharmacodynamic response following ACI-24 treatment and demonstrated its favorable safety and tolerability profile.
- Presented at CTAD 2021 full results of the Phase 2 study evaluating ACI-24 in patients with mild AD. This assessment confirmed earlier results showing no safety concerns nor evidence of inflammation or ARIA (amyloid-related imaging abnormalities) related to ACI-24 in any subject.
- New data on the optimized formulation of ACI-24 were published in a peer reviewed journal
Brain Communications. The optimized formulation was well tolerated in preclinical models and generated a broad polyclonal anti-Abeta response with high titers of antibodies against neurotoxic pyroglutamate Abeta (pyroGlu-Abeta), a major component of Abeta plaques. Additional preclinical data on optimized ACI-24 were presented at AD/PD™ 2022 confirming its enhanced and sustained immunogenicity against another key pathological Abeta species, oligomeric Abeta.
- Clinical PET image analyses and preclinical studies were presented at AD/PD™ 2022 suggest that ACI-12589 was retained in brain areas affected by disease processes involving a-synuclein (a-syn) aggregation, indicating the product-candidate has potential as the first non-invasive diagnostic for alpha-synucleinopathies (e.g. MSA).
- Completed all-stock acquisition of Affiris’ portfolio of therapeutics targeting a-syn, notably PD01, a clinically validated active vaccine candidate that places
AC Immuneat the forefront of Parkinson’s disease (PD) drug development. ACI-7104, the optimized formulation of PD01, is on track to enter Phase 2 testing in early PD patients in H2 2022.
- Identified and characterized the first biologically active small molecule Morphomer® a-syn aggregation inhibitors, showing that they significantly decreased a-syn aggregate formation in cellular assays by interfering with the fibrillation process.
- Reported key advancements for several therapeutic discovery programs targeting the (NOD)-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome. Small molecule Morphomer® inhibitors of NLRP3 showed the first evidence of in vivo activity in a model of peripheral inflammation, while high-affinity SupraAntigen® monoclonal antibodies were shown to bind extracellular components (ASC) of the NLRP3 pathway and inhibit inflammasome-mediated immune responses in vitro.
Strenthening Financial Position and Extend Shareholder Base
- Strengthened cash position via an equity financing, adding the three lead investors in Covid-19 vaccine innovator BioNTech SE,
Athos Service GmbH(Strüngmann family office), First Capital Partner GmbH(Egger Family Office), and MIG Fonds, as part of the Affirisdeal.
Strengthening of Board
Alan Colowick, M.D., Monica Shaw, M.D., and Prof. Monika Bütler, Dr. oec., to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Colowick is a biotech and investment executive with more than 20 years of experience in large and emerging biotech companies. Dr. Shawis a pharmaceutical industry expert who has been involved in advancing more than 15 therapeutic products from first-in-human studies through commercialization. Prof. Bütler is a leading Swiss economist and former Vice President of the independent Swiss COVID-19 Science Taskforce.
Thought Leadership and Collaborations
Swiss Economic Forum(SEF) awarded AC Immune Co-Founder and CEO Prof. Andrea Pfeiferwith the first SEF.WomenAward for CEO of the Year. This award recognizes women with an excellent entrepreneurial track record, giving greater prominence to role models who can inspire the next generation of businesswomen.
- Expanded the Company’s research collaboration with leading scientists at the
Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Researchat the Perelman School of Medicineat the University of Pennsylvania. This partnership aims to advance therapeutic strategies targeting TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a major driver of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Received two
Michael J. Fox Foundationgrants to accelerate the development of first-in-class brain penetrant small molecules to inhibit alpha-synuclein aggregation and NLRP3 inflammasome activation in PD.
Our strategy for 2022
AC Immune’s execution strategy is to advance late-stage AD programs with partners, accelerate its non-AD and NeuroOrphan programs in-house, and advance development of its suite of potentially best-in-class diagnostics to enable precision medicine. The Company intends to maintain program leadership over its wholly-owned AD and PD vaccine programs until Phase 3 or beyond, and expects to initiate two mid-stage clinical trials in 2022:
- ACI-7104 anti-a-syn vaccine candidate is on track to enter an adaptive, placebo-controlled, and biomarker-based Phase 2 study in patients with early PD in H2 2022. The two part study will evaluate safety, immunogenicity, and measure biomarkers of pathological alpha-synuclein in Part 1, with a seamless transition to Part 2, which will aim to establish clinical proof-of-concept by monitoring progression of PD symptoms and biomarkers.
- Optimized ACI-24 Abeta vaccine is on track to enter a placebo-controlled Phase 1b/2 study evaluating different dosing regimens vs. placebo in up to four cohorts of patients with AD before being expanded to a separate cohort of people living with DS to address DS-related AD. Key outcome measures for the study will include assessments of safety, immunogenicity, pharmacodynamics, target engagement, Abeta-PET and clinical outcomes.
2022 Clinical Milestones
|Reported results from first-in-human study at AD/PD™ 2022 conference|
|Reported Phase 1b/2a interim analysis from highest dose group in Q1; disclose future late-stage development plans in H2|
|ACI-24 (optimized vaccine formulation) Phase 1b/2a First-Patient-In (AD) in H1 Phase 1b in AD readout and decision to move into DS in H2|
|Top line Phase 2 results from AD prevention trial in patients with autosomal dominant AD in H1|
|Additional fluid biomarker data from the Phase 2 Lauriet study in mild-to-moderate AD in H2|
|Phase 2 and Phase 1 results in AD and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) respectively, in H2|
|Initiate Phase 2 trial in early PD in H2|
Analysis of Financial Statements for the year ended
- Cash Position: The Company had a total cash balance of
CHF 198.2 million, composed of CHF 82.2 millionin cash and cash equivalents and CHF 116.0 million in short-term financial assets. This compares to a total cash balance of CHF 225.9 millionas of December 31, 2020. The Company’s cash balance provides enough capital resources to progress through at least Q1 2024 without consideration of potential incoming milestone payments.
- Contract Revenues: The Company did not record contract revenues for the year ended
December 31, 2021, a decrease of CHF 15.4 millionfrom the comparable period in 2020. The overall decrease is predominantly related to a CHF 10 millionmilestone payment as well as CHF 4.3 millionassociated with R&D activities in our agreement with Lillythat were recognized in 2020 and did not repeat in the current period.
- R&D Expenditures: R&D expenses increased by
CHF 2.8 millionfor the year ended December 31, 2021, to CHF 62.3 million.
- Discovery and preclinical expenses (-
CHF 0.4million): The Company decreased expenditures across a variety of its discovery and preclinical programs. This was predominantly led by a decrease in investment for the research of alpha-synuclein antibodies and other discovery programs.
- Clinical expenses (-
CHF 2.3million): The Company decreased expenditures across multiple clinical programs, notably for Phase 1 activities associated with our Morphomer Tau compound and expenses. These decreases were offset predominantly by ACI-35.030, which was driven by R&D cost sharing and increased patient enrollments into the Phase 1b/2a study.
- Salary- and benefit-related costs (+
CHF 2.3million): The Company’s salary- and benefit-related costs increased primarily due to the internal reallocation of certain employees’ salaries and the annualization of 2020 hires.
- Discovery and preclinical expenses (-
- G&A Expenditures: For the year
December 31, 2021, G&A decreased by CHF 0.6 millionto CHF 17.9 million. This decrease is predominantly related to a reallocation of CHF 2.8 millionof certain IT and facilities costs offset by transaction costs incurred to complete the asset acquisition for Affiris'alpha-synuclein portfolio.
- Other Operating Income: The Company recognized
CHF 1.2 millionin grant income for R&D activities performed under our Michael J. Fox Foundationfor Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Target ALS grants, a decrease of CHF 0.1 millioncompared to the prior period.
- IFRS Loss for the Period: The Company reported a net loss after taxes of
CHF 73.0 millionfor the year ended December 31, 2021, compared with a net loss of CHF 61.9 millionfor the comparable period in 2020.
2022 Financial Guidance
- For the full year 2022, the Company expects its total cash burn to be in the range,
CHF 75 millionto CHF 80 million. The Company defines cash burn as operating expenditures adjusted to include capital expenditures and offset by significant non-cash items (including share-based compensation and depreciation expense).
AC Immune SA is clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that aims to become a global leader in precision medicine for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and NeuroOrphan indications driven by misfolded proteins. The Company’s two clinically validated technology platforms, SupraAntigen® and Morphomer®, fuel its broad and diversified pipeline of first- and best-in-class assets, which currently features ten therapeutic and three diagnostic candidates, six of which are currently in clinical trials. AC Immune has a strong track record of securing strategic partnerships with leading global pharmaceutical companies including Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Eli Lilly and Company, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., resulting in substantial non-dilutive funding to advance its proprietary programs and >$3 billion in potential milestone payments.
SupraAntigen® is a registered trademark of AC Immune SA in the following territories: AU, EU, CH, GB, JP and RU. Morphomer® is a registered trademark of AC Immune SA in CN, CH, GB, JP, and NO.
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Forward looking statements
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or AC Immune’s strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “projects,” “potential,” “outlook” or “continue,” and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include those described under the captions “Item 3. Key Information – Risk Factors” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” in AC Immune’s Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings with the
|Consolidated Balance Sheets|
|(In CHF thousands)|
|Property, plant and equipment||5,116||4,416|
|Long-term financial assets||363||334|
|Total non-current assets||58,809||6,973|
|Other current receivables||428||329|
|Short-term financial assets||116,000||65,000|
|Cash and cash equivalents||82,216||160,893|
|Total current assets||202,634||231,767|
|SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY AND LIABILITIES|
|Total shareholders’ equity||231,979||215,478|
|Long-term lease liabilities||2,340||1,780|
|Net employee defined-benefit liabilities||7,098||7,464|
|Total non-current liabilities||9,438||9,244|
|Trade and other payables||2,003||2,184|
|Short-term lease liabilities||570||443|
|Total current liabilities||20,026||14,018|
|Total shareholders’ equity and liabilities||261,443||238,740|
|Consolidated Statements of Income/(Loss)|
|(In CHF thousands, except for per-share data)|
|For the Years Ended
|Research & development expenses||(62,282)||(59,487)||(50,432)|
|General & administrative expenses||(17,910)||(18,557)||(16,058)|
|Other operating income/(expense)||1,182||1,353||570|
|Total operating expenses||(79,010)||(76,691)||(65,920)|
|Change in fair value of conversion feature||—||—||4,542|
|Finance result, net||6,017||(661)||906|
|Income/(loss) before tax||(72,993)||(61,921)||45,442|
|Income tax expense||(3)||—||—|
|Income/(loss) for the period||(72,996)||(61,921)||45,442|
|Earnings/(loss) per share:|
|Basic income/(loss) for the period attributable to equity holders||(0.97)||(0.86)||0.64|
|Diluted income/(loss) for the period attributable to equity holders||(0.97)||(0.86)||0.64|
|Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income/(Loss)|
|(In CHF thousands)|
|For the Years Ended
|Income/(loss) for the period||(72,996)||(61,921)||45,442|
|Items that may be reclassified to income or loss in subsequent periods (net of tax):|
|Currency translation differences||—||—||—|
|Items that will not be reclassified to income or loss in subsequent periods (net of tax):|
|Re-measurement gains/(losses) on defined-benefit plans||956||726||(1,304)|
|Other comprehensive income/(loss)||956||726||(1,304)|
|Total comprehensive income/(loss), net of tax||(72,040)||(61,195)||44,138|
|Reconciliation of income/(loss) to adjusted income/(loss) and|
|earnings/(loss) per share to adjusted earnings/(loss) per share|
|For the Years Ended
|(In CHF thousands, except for share and per share data)||2021||2020||2019|
|Non-cash share-based payments1||4,126||4,088||2,834|
|Foreign currency (gains)/losses2||70||703||826|
|Change in fair value of derivative financial assets3||(6,459)||—||—|
|Effective interest expenses5||—||—||1,355|
|Change in fair value of conversion feature6||—||—||(4,542)|
|Earnings/(loss) per share – basic||(0.97)||(0.86)||0.64|
|Earnings/(loss) per share – diluted||(0.97)||(0.86)||0.64|
|Adjustment to earnings/(loss) per share – basic||(0.02)||0.07||0.01|
|Adjustment to earnings/(loss) per share – diluted||(0.02)||0.07||0.00|
|Adjusted earnings/(loss) per share – basic||(0.99)||(0.79)||0.65|
|Adjusted earnings/(loss) per share – diluted||(0.99)||(0.79)||0.64|
|Weighted-average number of shares used to compute adjusted loss per share – basic||74,951,833||71,900,212||70,603,611|
|Weighted-average number of shares used to compute adjusted loss per share – diluted||74,951,833||71,900,212||71,103,341|
1Reflects non-cash expenses associated with share-based compensation for equity awards issued to directors, management and employees of the Company. This expense reflects the awards’ fair value recognized for the portion of the equity award which is vesting over the period.
2Reflects foreign currency re-measurement gains and losses for the period, predominantly impacted by the change in the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Swiss Franc.
3 Reflects the change in the fair value of the derivative financial instruments associated with two convertible notes sold to certain
4Reflects transaction costs associated with our asset acquisition for a portfolio of therapeutics targeting alpha-synuclein.
5Effective interest expense for the period relates to the accretion of the Company’s convertible loan in accordance with the effective interest method.
6Change in fair value of conversion feature that is bifurcated from the convertible loan host debt with
Adjustments for the years ended
Source: AC Immune SA