Matinas Well Positioned For June Data Read Outs

TM editors' note: This article discusses a penny stock and/or microcap. Such stocks are easily manipulated; do your own careful due diligence.

On May 16, 2017, Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc. (NYSEMKT: MTNB) reported financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2017. The company also provided an update on anti-infective drug candidates, MAT2203 and MAT2501. Matinas is in solid financial position with excellent access to capital. More importantly, data from two clinical studies with MAT2203, an orally administered, encochleated formulation of amphotericin B, are expected in June 2017. MAT2501, the company's orally administered, encochleated formulation of amikacin is expected to move into a multiple ascending dose PK/tolerability study in the near future.

Below is a review of the recent financial results and a highlight of MAT2203 and MAT2501 ahead of the next wave of clinical milestones.

Financial Results

Net loss for the first quarter ending ended March 31, 2017, totaled approximately $21.2 million, or $0.25 per basic and diluted share. Net loss included a non-cash inducement charge for the exercise of warrants in January 2017. As a reminder, the company successfully completed a warrant tender in late 2016 and early 2017, netting proceeds of $12.7 million in cash. Adjust net loss totaled $4.5 million, driven by $2.4 million in R&D and $2.1 million in G&A expense. Actual cash burn during the quarter totaled only $3.0 million.

Thanks to the successful warrant tender, Matinas exited March 2017 with $15.8 million in cash and equivalents. I find this sufficient to fund operations for the next 12 months. In late April 2017, the company entered into At-the-Market (ATM) financing with Cantor Fitzgerald whereby Matinas can raise proceeds up to $30 million at prevailing market rates. I see the ATM as an astute move by management given the significant catalysts on the near-term horizon. Matinas became eligible to these type of controlled equity offerings when they began trading on the NYSEMKT in February 2017.

MAT2203 Update

MAT2203 is an orally-administered, lipid-crystal nanoparticle formulation of amphotericin B (AmB). AmB has activity against a broad spectrum of invasive fungi, and thus it is the standard of care for many systemic fungal infections. The drug is fungicidal, which means it kills the invading fungal infection, as oppose to azoles like fluconazole or voriconazole that are fungistatic (only halt the spread of the infection). Unfortunately, the high toxicity of AmB, which shows up at around 1 mg/kg, is roughly equal to the therapeutic dose, thus creating a very small therapeutic window for the drug.

Gilead's liposomal formulation, AmBisome® (LAmB) has improved tolerability up to the 10 mg/kg range. However, early work done with MAT2203 (CAmB) shows that oral delivery of the resulted in no overt adverse events at doses up to 90 mg/kg in animal studies; and in mouse models of Candidiasis, MAT2203 was shown to be superior to both AmBiosome and Fungizone® (12). Separate models show MAT2203 to be superior to other formulations of AmB in models of Aspergillus (3). It seems that Matinas has figured out a way to greatly improve the therapeutic window for an incredibly powerful drug.

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