Ohr Pharmaceuticals Announces Weak Quarterly Results, Shares Tanking On News
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The pharmaceuticals industry is in the midst of choppy times as the sector faces the risk of strict medication pricing rules at the hands of Donald Trump. At the very same time, the industry is also expected to benefit from more liberal corporate rules such as taxation provisions. These cross currants make the sector a stock pickers preference as Companies will grow or falter depending on which side of the ledger they stand. Today we look at Ohr Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:OHRP), which but out disappointing first quarter financials. It’s too early to speculate if OHRP could be a winner or loser as a result of the changing sector landscape, however today’s results are cause for worry.
The Company, which specializes in developing treatments for ocular ailments, announced its results late last night for the first quarter ended on December 31, 2016. The company also provided a strategic update for the business. Ohr Pharmaceuticals reported a net loss of $7 million for the quarter, up from a $6.1 million net loss which it had incurred for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. On a per share basis, the company’s net loss stood at $0.21, up from $0.20 in the first quarter of the previous year.
Ohr Pharmaceuticals’ operating expenses for the quarter were reported at $7 million. It included $1.7 million in general and administrative expenses, $4.9 million of research and development expenses, and $0.3 million in depreciation and amortization. The results have so far sent shares lower to the tune of over 20% in today’s trading. In fact, shares have been in a steep decline since mid-October and currently at their 52-week low.
In a further note to investors, the Company provided an update on their upcoming plans. The company announced that the subjects currently enrolled in their first Phase 3 clinical trial of its lead drug candidate squalamine lactate ophthalmic solution, 0.2%, will continue to undergo scheduled visits and assessments as well as receive assigned study treatments as per the current protocol. However, the company has decided to pause further enrollments.
The drug has massive potential for the Company as it’s administered as an eye drop and thus is easier to be used than intravitreal injections. Ohr Pharmaceuticals had an agreement with the FDA for the Special Protocol Assessment for designing a Phase 3 trial for the drug.
The Company has taken steps to boost its financial standing. In December of last year, the Company announced the closing of its public offering. In the offering, it sold 3,885,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $2.00 per share. The funds are expected to provide liquidity to the company to proceed with its corporate plans.
Apart from squalamine, the Company also has other sustained release formulations of small molecule and protein therapeutics in its pipeline. These treatments are meant for various oculur ailments such as glaucoma, steroid induced glaucoma, ocular allergy, and retinal disease.
While the company faces stiff competition in the sector, it did also report higher R&D expenditures in the first quarter, which shows its commitment towards developing fruitful technologies for the future.
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