viewMaxCyte Inc

MaxCyte making progress; primed and ready for further advance

Of significant note in the first-half was the commercial licence agreement with CRISPR Therapeutics

cancer cells from taken by an electron microscope
The company's CARMA platform retrains the cells found in blood such as T-cells, natural killer cells and lymphocytes to attack cancer

US-based cell engineering technology firm MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) said it continued to make progress in all areas as it lifted the lid on it financial and operational performance in the first half.

Probably the highlight of the period was the US$27mln (£20mln) it raised from investors in April, which not only put the company on a firm financial footing, but provided its CARMA technology third-party validation.

Also of significant note was the commercial licence agreement with CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) and investment in the company’s commercial platform.

READ: ‘More of the same, please’: MaxCyte poised for continued growth after solid first half

Two in one

MaxCyte is essentially two companies in one: It sells and licenses its CARMA cell engineering platform to some of the world’s largest pharma and biotechnology companies. This part of the business generates the sales – US$6.2mln in the first half (up almost 14%).

And it is also using said IP to develop treatments for cancer that incite the body’s own immune system to tackle the killer disease. That’s a hot area at the moment.

What’s new and innovative, even for this very new and innovative strand of research, is that CARMA is being designed to grapple with solid tumours.

The breakthroughs in this field, such as CAR T-cell immuno-therapies, fight blood-borne illness, and yet 90% of cancers are solid tumours.

READ: MaxCyte's Doug Doerfler 'confident of providing long-term treatment' for CGD patients

Promising early results

Early results from pre-clinical research carried out by the world famous Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore have been encouraging. It also has a collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis.

It is on course to submit the first investigational new drug (IND) application from its CARMA platform by end of 2017, leading to a clinical trial next year.

A significant increase of the investment made in CARMA led to an rise in operating expenses to US$9.5mln for the period from US$5.9mln a year earlier.

The net loss was for the six months to June 30 was US$4.3mln. More importantly, MaxCyte was sitting on cash of over US$30mln as at that date.

Chief executive Doug Doerfler said the timing of certain contracts meant he expected an increase in the “normal seasonal weighting of revenues towards the second half”.

He added: "We have continued to make significant progress across all areas of the business and have achieved another period of strong growth.” 

Quick facts: MaxCyte Inc

Price: 167.5 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £96.15 m

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on 23/1/18

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