Iovance (IOVA) Q2 Earnings Beat Estimates, Pipeline in Focus

Zacks Equity Research
·4-min read

Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. IOVA incurred loss of 47 cents per share in second-quarter 2020, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 52 cents. However, it was wider than the year-ago quarter’s loss of 38 cents.

With no marketed products and revenue generating collaborations, the company did not record any revenues during the quarter.

Despite narrower loss, shares of Iovance were down almost 6.2% on Aug 7, following the earnings release. However, the stock has gained 5.6% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 5.4%.

Quarter in Detail

Research & development (R&D) expenses were $49.3 million, 25.4% higher than the year-ago quarter, primarily due to a rise in clinical activities.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses increased 32.1% to $14.4 million due to an increase in related personnel costs.

The company had $777.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash as of Jun 30, 2020 compared with $251.2 million as of Mar 31, 2020. The significant increase in cash resources was due to net proceeds of $567.4 million from a common stock public offering completed in June. The company expects its current cash resources sufficient to support commercial launch of lifileucel, anticipated next year, and pipeline activities including a clinical program in non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”).

Pipeline Update

Iovance is developing its lead pipeline candidate, lifileucel, as a monotherapy for treating metastatic melanoma and metastatic cervical cancer in late-stage studies. Two separate pivotal studies are currently evaluating the candidate.

The phase II study — C-144-01 — is a multi-cohort study evaluating lifileucel in metastatic melanoma patients. Early data from the pivotal cohort 4, announced during second quarter, demonstrated an objective response rate of 32.4% at 5.3 months of median study follow up. Data from this cohort will support regulatory application seeking its approval. The company expects to file a biologics license application ("BLA") by the end of 2020.

The company’s another multi-cohort phase II study — C-145-04 — evaluating lifileucel in recurrent, metastatic or persistent cervical cancer in multiple settings is also progressing well. The company plans to discuss with the FDA matters related to the submission of a BLA for cervical cancer soon.

A multi-cohort phase II study is evaluating company’s tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (“TIL”) therapies in earlier lines of treatment and in combination with Merck’s MRK Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as well as lifileucel monotherapy as a potential treatment for NSCLC.

Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Iovance currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A couple of better-ranked stocks from the biotech sector include Emergent Biosolutions Inc. EBS and Horizon Therapeutics HZNP, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Emergent Biosolutions’ earnings per share estimates have moved up from $3.45 to $5.60 for 2020 in the past 30 days. The company delivered an earnings surprise of 127.41%, on average, in the last four quarters. The stock has risen 142.1% so far this year.

Horizon Therapeutics’ earnings per share estimates have increased from $1.78 to $2.16 for 2020 in the past 30 days. The company delivered an earnings surprise of 43.99%, on average, in the last four quarters. The stock has surged 110.1% so far this year.

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