Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American and TASE: LCTX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing allogeneic cell therapies for unmet medical needs, today reported financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2022 and will host a conference call today at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss these results.
2022 marked a year of clinical and regulatory execution for the Lineage team, as we worked alongside our partners and internally to advance our clinical and preclinical programs, stated Brian M. Culley, Lineage CEO. A significant area of focus last year was our alliance with Roche and Genentech, including supporting the initiation of a Phase 2a clinical study of OpRegen in patients with GA secondary to AMD. We believe we have selected the most capable partner to advance OpRegen and we anticipate that the findings from the Phase 2a study will be highly informative to the OpRegen development program in any future larger, comparative trials. We also made considerable progress expanding and diversifying our pipeline, primarily through the addition of two new cell transplant programs. We believe the learnings from our dry AMD program may prove valuable to our newer product opportunities, which are similarly based on our differentiated cell transplant technology.
We also completed key regulatory activities for our OPC1 and VAC2 programs, which help provide insights into their continued development, Mr. Culley added. Our corporate objectives for 2023 will be to emphasize the further progression of our allogeneic cell therapy programs, making responsible investments in the expansion of our novel approach to cell transplant medicine in disease settings where we believe we can make a meaningful impact, and the continued support of both our newly established and existing collaborations, all in support of our overarching vision of building Lineage into a leading cell therapy company.
Other significant milestones achieved in 2022 include:
Continued execution under our collaboration with Roche and Genentech across multiple functional areas, including support for ongoing Phase 2a clinical study in patients with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Long-term follow-up of patients from the Phase 1/2a clinical study of OpRegen:
Positive clinical data presented at 2022 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting.
Completed verification and validation and preclinical testing activities for a novel parenchymal spinal delivery (PSD) system to support planned regulatory submissions.
Key data from OPC1, a Phase 1 clinical study in acute thoracic spinal cord injury and a Phase 1/2a clinical study in subacute cervical spinal cord injury, were published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.
Preclinical testing of a new thaw and inject formulation of OPC1, manufactured via an improved and larger-scale process, demonstrated functional recovery, improvement in gait coordination and motor performance with a reduction of the area of cavitation.
Engagement with the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as well as various patient advocacy organizations and patient advocates continued.
Pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) application briefing package submitted to the FDA to support U.S. clinical development for immuno-oncology.
Reported completion of enrollment in VAC2 Phase 1 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) Study by Cancer Research UK.
Following technology transfer of the program from Cancer Research UK to Lineage and improvement of manufacturing processes, production scale increased and accordingly the cost of goods was reduced significantly, along with marked improvements in the purity and functionality of the manufactured material.
Launched two new cell therapy programs for the treatment of hearing and vision loss.
Process development and related activities were ongoing in support of planned preclinical testing.
Established new U.S. R&D facility and expanded current GMP manufacturing facility in Israel.
Strengthened intellectual property portfolio with Notice of Allowance for various patent applications including but not limited to covering oligodendrocyte progenitor cells.
Announced appointment of Jill Howe as Chief Financial Officer.
Some of the events and milestones anticipated by Lineage in 2023 include:
Results from imaging analyses of structural changes in addition to visual data from a Phase 1/2a clinical study of RG6501 (OpRegen), to be presented at the 2023 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting.
Type B Meeting with FDA to discuss our proposed amendment to the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for OPC1 to enable clinical testing of a novel spinal cord delivery system, anticipated in the second quarter.
Clinical data update from the ongoing VAC2 Phase 1 NSCLC study, pending release from Cancer Research UK, anticipated in the second quarter.
Amendment of an IND for OPC1 to enable clinical testing of a novel spinal cord delivery system.
Initiation of DOSED (Delivery of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells for Spinal Cord Injury: Evaluation of a Novel Device) clinical study of OPC1.
Submission of an additional OPC1 manuscript describing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings from the subacute studies in both thoracic and cervical spinal cord injury.
Submission of a grant application to CIRM for the continued support of the clinical development of OPC1.
Development update on hypo immune induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines for neurology indications, under collaboration with Eterna Therapeutics.
Updates from ongoing ANP1 preclinical testing at the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute under a collaboration with the University of Michigan.
Evaluation of new partnership opportunities and/or expansion of existing collaborations.
Continued participation in investor and partnering meetings and medical and industry conferences to broaden awareness of our mission, programs, and accomplishments.
Balance Sheet Highlights
Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaled $57.9 million as of December 31, 2022, which is expected to support planned operations into Q3 2024.
Fourth Quarter Operating Results
Revenues: Lineages revenue is generated primarily from licensing fees, collaboration revenues, royalties, and research grants. Total revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2022 were approximately $1.9 million, a net increase of $0.7 million as compared to $1.2 million for the same period in 2021. The increase was related to the recognition of deferred collaboration revenues in connection with a Collaboration and License Agreement (the Roche Agreement) we entered into with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group (collectively or individually, Roche or Genentech), in 2021, partially offset by lower royalty and grant revenues.
Operating Expenses: Operating expenses are comprised of research and development (R&D) expenses and general and administrative (G&A) expenses. Total operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2022 were $8.5 million, a decrease of $20.7 million as compared to $29.2 million for the same period in 2021. The overall decrease was almost entirely driven by a decrease in R&D expenses under the Roche Agreement.
R&D Expenses: R&D expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2022 were $4.1 million, a decrease of $20.7 million as compared to $24.8 million for the same period in 2021. The decrease was substantially driven by the prior year $21.0 million accrual for financial obligations payable to the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and Hadasit Medical Research Services and Development Ltd (Hadasit), in connection with the $50.0 million upfront payment received under the Roche Agreement. This decrease was partially offset by $0.1 million and $0.2 million in higher expenses to support the development of the new photoreceptor and auditory neuron cell therapy program, respectively.
G&A Expenses: G&A expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2022 were $4.3 million, a decrease of $0.1 million as compared to $4.4 million for the same period in 2021. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease of $0.4 million in legal and litigation expenses, partially offset by approximately $0.1 million in higher salaries and related benefit fees, and $0.1 million in higher share-based compensation expense.
Loss from Operations: Loss from operations for the three months ended December 31, 2022 was $6.6 million, a decrease of $21.6 million as compared to $28.2 million for the same period in 2021, principally owing to collaboration-related expense accruals of $21.0 million under the Roche Agreement.
Other Income, Net: Other income, net for the three months ended December 31, 2022 was $0.3 million, compared to other income, net of $0.2 million for the same period in 2021. The net variance was primarily related to offsetting variances between the changes in the value of marketable equity securities, as well as exchange rate fluctuations related to Lineages international subsidiaries for the applicable periods.
Net Loss Attributable to Lineage: The net loss attributable to Lineage for the three months ended December 31, 2022 was $6.4 million, or $0.03 per share (basic and diluted), compared to a net loss attributable to Lineage of $29.0 million, or $0.17 per share (basic and diluted), for the same period in 2021.
Full Year Operating Results
Revenues: Lineages revenue is generated primarily from licensing fees, collaboration revenues, royalties, and research grants. Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022 were $14.7 million, an increase of $10.4 million as compared to $4.3 million for the same period in 2021. The increase was primarily related