Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Sangamo), an in vitro diagnostics company, has reported revenues of $3.2 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared with the total revenue of $2.8 million in the year-ago quarter. It has also reported consolidated net loss of $6.8 million, or $0.17 per share, for the first quarter of 2009, compared with the consolidated net loss of $8 million, or $0.20 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
For the first quarter of 2009, research and development expenses were $7.3, compared to $8.6 million for the same period in 2008. The decrease in research and development expenses is primarily related to lower clinical trial expenses in Sangamo’s ongoing SB-509 program in diabetic neuropathy, partially offset by the ramp up for its Phase 1 clinical trial for HIV/AIDS, which opened in the first quarter of 2009, and its planned Phase 1 clinical trial in glioblastoma multiforme. Non-cash employee stock-based compensation included in research and development expenses totaled $0.7 million and $0.9 million in the 2009 and 2008 periods, respectively.
For the first quarter of 2009 and 2008, general and administrative expenses were $2.9 million. Non-cash employee stock-based compensation included in general and administrative expenses totaled $0.8 million and $0.9 million in the 2009 and 2008 periods, respectively.
Total operating expenses for the first quarter of 2009 were $10.2 million, against $11.6 million for the same period in 2008.
Net interest and other income was $0.2 million for the first quarter of 2009, against $0.8 million for the same period in 2008. The decrease was due to lower average investment balances and lower interest rates.
First Quarter 2009 Highlights
Sangamo and its collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania opened a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate SB-728-T for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The study is an open-label Phase 1 clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of a single infusion of SB-728-T, autologous (a patient’s own) CD4+ T cells genetically modified at the CCR5 gene by R5-specific zinc finger DNA-binding protein nucleases (ZFNs). A total of twelve subjects with HIV will be enrolled in this trial in two treatment cohorts. In an animal model of HIV infection, SB-728-T has been shown to lead to an increase in CD4+ T-cell counts, a reduction in viral load and expansion of CCR5-modified T-cells, suggesting resistance to HIV. CCR5 is a co-receptor that enables HIV to enter and infect cells of the immune system. Individuals carrying a natural mutation of their CCR5 gene, CCR5-delta32, are highly resistant to infection by HIV.
Sangamo and its plant agriculture partner Dow AgroSciences announce publication in Nature of the successful application of ZFP technology for the efficient generation of maize plants with multiple, commercially important traits. In a study published in the Advance Online edition of Nature, scientists at Dow AgroSciences and Sangamo used ZFNs to introduce a herbicide tolerance gene into a pre-determined address in the maize genome, simultaneously eliminating the expression of an enzyme involved in the production of phytate, a natural but undesirable compound found in feed crops and a cause of environmental pollution. In a rapid, single step process the gene involved in phytate production was disabled and permanently linked with the acquisition of herbicide tolerance – i.e. stacking the two desired characteristics in the plant and generating reduced phytate, herbicide tolerant corn. This new method efficiently targets specific genes, making it suitable for routine plant gene modification.
Announcement of achievement of a major production throughput milestone as part of its agreement with Sigma-Aldrich Corporation in research reagents. The milestone, which was achieved in December 2008, over a year ahead of schedule, triggered a payment of $1.0 million to Sangamo.