Viracta Therapeutics (VIRX) Stock: Why The Price Jumped Up Today

By Amit Chowdhry ● Mar 16, 2022
  • The stock price of Viracta Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIRX) increased by over 10% pre-market today. This is why.

The stock price of Viracta Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIRX) – a precision oncology company targeting virus-associated malignancies – increased by over 10% pre-market today. Investors are responding positively to Viracta Therapeutics announcing the financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2021 and providing an update on recent corporate activities.

Q4 and Full Year 2021 Financial Results

— Cash and cash equivalents totaled approximately $103.6 million as of December 31, 2021, which Viracta expects will be sufficient to fund its operations into mid-2024, excluding any additional borrowings under the $50.0 million credit facility.

— Research and development expenses were approximately $7.3 million and $3.6 million for the fourth quarters ended 2021 and 2020, respectively. And the research and development expenses were approximately $23.9 million and $13.5 million for years ended December 31, 2021, and December 31, 2020, respectively. The increase in research and development expenses was primarily due to increases in costs incurred to support the initiation of the NAVAL-1 and solid tumor trials as well as an increase in headcount and non-cash share-based compensation.

— Purchased and acquired in-process research and development expenses were $88.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. The expenses were related to the $4.0 million payment associated with the termination of the collaboration and license agreement with Shenzhen Salubris Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and non-cash and non-recurring costs of $84.5 million related to the write-off of in-process research and development acquired in the merger with Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.

— General and administrative expenses were approximately $4.0 million and $2.6 million for the fourth quarters ended 2021 and 2020, respectively. And general and administrative expenses were approximately $15.4 million and $5.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, and December 31, 2020, respectively. The increase was largely due to significant and non-recurring costs associated with the merger, in addition to incremental costs associated with being a publicly traded company, including legal fees, audit fees, consulting expenses, filing fees and increased directors’ and officers’ insurance costs, in addition to an increase in non-cash share-based compensation.

— Gain on Royalty Purchase Agreement the year ended December 31, 2021, was associated with upfront proceeds of $13.5 million received in connection with the multi-license milestone and royalty monetization transaction with XOMA Corporation in March 2021.

— Adjusted loss from operations for the year ended December 31, 2021, excluding the non-recurring operating expenses associated with the write-off of in-process research and development acquired in the merger and the termination agreement with Salubris Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (a non-GAAP measure) was $25.8 million, compared to a loss from operations of $114.3 million. There is not a comparative adjustment to loss from operations for the same period in 2020.

— Net loss was approximately $11.4 million, or $0.31 per share (basic and diluted), and approximately $6.3 million, or $13.31 per share (basic and diluted), for the fourth quarters ended 2021 and 2020, respectively. And net loss was approximately $114.8 million, or $3.60 per share (basic and diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to a net loss of approximately $19.0 million, or $58.56 per share (basic and diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2020.

KEY QUOTES:

“In 2021, we achieved key corporate and clinical milestones that we believe positioned us for an exciting year ahead. We entered the public market while simultaneously completing a successful equity financing, and initiated two clinical studies of our all-oral combination therapy, Nana-val. These included our pivotal NAVAL-1 trial in EBV-positive relapsed/refractory lymphoma and our Phase 1b/2 trial in advanced EBV-positive solid tumors. In addition, we ended the year by presenting final data from Nana-val’s Phase 1b/2 EBV-positive lymphoma trial in an oral presentation at ASH 2021, which showed complete responses in a heavily pre-treated patient population in need of a new therapeutic option.”

“In the year ahead, we anticipate several important advancements and milestones in our clinical programs, including meaningful progress in NAVAL-1, and a preliminary data readout from our ongoing Phase 1b/2 trial in solid tumors. Should we see early efficacy signals for Nana-val in solid tumors, as we did in the Phase 1b/2 EBV-positive lymphoma trial, it could serve as initial support for our pursuit of a tissue agnostic approach to EBV-associated malignancies and expand our addressable patient population. With a cash runway into mid-2024, we are well capitalized to execute on these milestones and our broader corporate strategy.”

— Ivor Royston, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Viracta

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.