Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by GlobeNewsWire
On track to submit IND filings in U.S. and China for GC012F for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) in the fourth quarter 2022First clinical data from ongoing investigator-initiated trial (IIT) evaluating GC012F in newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients to be presented as oral session at 64th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2022)Continued patient enrollment and follow-up in the ongoing IIT evaluating GC012F in relapsed/refractory B-Cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (r/r B-NHL) Dosed first patient in registrational Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating GC007g for the treatment of relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r B-ALL)Dosed first patients in IIT evaluating GC503 for the treatment of mesothelin-positive solid tumorsWell-funded with cash runway for next 24 monthsManagement to host conference call at 8:00 a.m. ET today
SAN DIEGO, Calif. and SUZHOU and SHANGHAI, China, Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gracell Biotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GRCL) (“Gracell” or “Company”), a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing highly efficacious and affordable cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, today reported third quarter unaudited financial results for the period ended September 30, 2022, and provided corporate updates.
“We continued to make important strides to advance our pipeline and remain on track to achieve key 2022 milestones. For our lead candidate GC012F, the BCMA/CD19 dual-targeting FasTCAR-T therapy, we look forward to submitting the IND filings for the treatment of RRMM in both the U.S. and China by the end of the year,” said Dr. William (Wei) Cao, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Gracell. “We very much look forward to presenting the positive clinical data from the ongoing IIT evaluating GC012F in NDMM patients, as an oral session at the ASH annual meeting in December 2022. We have also started Gracell’s first Phase 2 trial with the first patient dosed with GC007g, an HLA-matched donor-derived allogeneic CAR-T therapy. Gracell remains well positioned and well capitalized to bring game-changing cell therapy to the patients in need.”
FasTCAR Platform: Next-day manufacturing for autologous CAR-T cell therapy with enhanced cell fitness
GC012F: Autologous CAR-T therapy candidate dual-targeting B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and CD19, currently being evaluated for the treatment of RRMM, NDMM and B-NHL.
First clinical data from ongoing IIT evaluating GC012F in NDMM patients to be presented as oral session at ASH 2022. Presentation details: Session 704: Cellular Immunotherapies: Early Phase and Investigational Therapies: CAR T in Multiple Myeloma and T-cell Therapies After Allo-HCT on Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 5:15 pm CT.As of the July 25, 2022 abstract data cutoff date, clinical data from this trial indicated 100% ORR and 100% MRD negativity in the 13 NDMM patients treated.On track to submit the IND applications in the U.S. and China in the fourth quarter 2022 to evaluate GC012F for the treatment of RRMM.Enrollment and follow-up progressing in the IIT in China evaluating GC012F in r/r B-NHL.
TruUCAR Platform: Novel designs enabling “off-the-shelf” allogeneic CAR-T therapy
GC502: CD19/CD7 dual-directed allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy candidate being studied in an ongoing Phase 1 IIT in China for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. GC502 is manufactured from T cells of non-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched healthy donors.
Updated data from single-arm, open-label IIT with longer follow-up of GC502 in B-ALL presented at EHA 2022.
SMART CART(TM) Module: With unique construct to take advantage of the suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) and effectively combat solid tumors, SMART CART(TM) is designed to enhance CAR-T cell proliferation and duration of killing, and to resist exhaustion with improved persistence of CAR-T cells.
Dosed first patients in a China IIT to evaluate GC503 for the treatment of mesothelin-positive solid tumors.Plan to commence a China IIT for GC506 in CLDN18.2-positive solid tumors.
GC007g for the treatment of B-ALL: Allogeneic CD19-targeted CAR-T cell therapy, derived from HLA-matched donor, for the treatment of r/r B-ALL patients who failed transplant and may not be eligible for autologous CAR-T therapy.
Dosed first patient in the Phase 2 portion of the registration Phase 1/2 clinical trial in China evaluating GC007g for the treatment of r/r B-ALL.
Financial Results for Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2022
As of September 30, 2022, the Company had RMB1,629.6 million (US$229.1 million) in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments. In addition, the Company had short-term borrowings and current portion of long-term borrowings of RMB125.1 million (US$17.6 million) and long-term borrowings of RMB48.1 million (US$6.8 million) as of September 30, 2022.
Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders for the three months ended September 30, 2022 was RMB171.9 million (US$24.2 million), compared to RMB129.3 million for the corresponding prior year period.
Research and development expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2022 were RMB133.4 million (US$18.7 million), compared to RMB88.6 million in the corresponding prior year period. The increase was primarily due to the increased spending on research, development, and clinical trials, as well as higher payroll and personnel expenses attributable to increased headcount, and higher facility-related costs.
Administrative expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2022 were RMB36.4 million (US$5.1 million), compared to RMB42.9 million for the corresponding prior year period. The decrease was primarily driven by a decrease in professional service and a decrease in share-based compensation expenses.
Interest income for the three months ended September 30, 2022 was RMB3.6 million (US$0.5 million), compared to RMB3.0 million for the corresponding prior year period. Other income for the three months ended September 30, 2022 was RMB2.1 million (US$0.3 million), compared to RMB0.7 million for the corresponding prior year period.
Foreign exchange loss for the three months ended September 30, 2022 was RMB6.1 million (US$0.9 million), compared to a foreign exchange loss of RMB0.8 million for the corresponding prior year period. This increase in the foreign exchange loss of RMB5.3 million was primarily attributable to unfavorable foreign exchange rate fluctuating (RMB versus US dollar) during the quarter ended September 30, 2022, compared with the corresponding prior year period.
As of September 30, 2022, 338,425,069 ordinary shares, par value of US$0.0001 per share, were issued and outstanding. As of September 30, 2022, 18,815,761 options were granted and 15,255,399 options were outstanding, and 1,974,391 restricted share units (“RSUs”) were granted under the employee stock option plan. Each of the ADSs represents five ordinary shares.
Conference Call and Webcast Details:Monday, November 14, 2022 @ 8:00 a.m. ETInvestor domestic dial-in: (800) 715-9871Investor international dial-in: +1(646) 307-1963Conference ID: 4840587Live webcast link: https://ir.gracellbio.com/news-events/events-and-presentations
A replay of the webcast will be available on ir.gracellbio.com shortly after the conclusion of the event for 90 days.
About FasTCARCAR-T cells manufactured on Gracell’s proprietary FasTCAR platform appear younger, less exhausted, and show enhanced proliferation, persistence, bone marrow migration, and tumor cell clearance activities as demonstrated in preclinical studies. With next-day manufacturing, FasTCAR is able to significantly improve cell production efficiency, which may result in meaningful cost savings, increasing the accessibility of cell therapies for cancer patients.
About TruUCARTruUCAR is Gracell’s proprietary technology platform and is designed to generate high-quality allogeneic CAR-T cell therapies that can be administered “off-the-shelf” at lower cost and with greater convenience. With differentiated design enabled by gene editing of unique genes, TruUCAR is designed to control host vs graft rejection (HvG) as well as graft vs host disease (GvHD) without the need of being co-administered with additional immunosuppressive drugs.
About SMART CART(TM)SMART CART(TM) is Gracell’s proprietary technology module designed to strengthen the functionality of CAR-T cells further, and aims to overcome tumor microenvironment (TME). SMART CART(TM) includes altered expression of the receptor and signaling mechanism of an inhibitory TME molecule to enhance expansion and persistence and to reduce the exhaustion of CAR T cells. This design reverses and turns immunosuppressive signals of TME into stimulatory reactions of CAR-T cells. SMART CART(TM) technology can be applied to many targets for the treatment of solid tumors.
About Gracell Gracell Biotechnologies Inc. (“Gracell”) is a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing breakthrough cell therapies. Leveraging its pioneering FasTCAR and TruUCAR technology platforms and SMART CART(TM) technology module, Gracell is developing a rich clinical-stage pipeline of multiple autologous and allogeneic product candidates with the potential to overcome major industry challenges that persist with conventional CAR-T therapies, including lengthy manufacturing time, suboptimal cell quality, high therapy cost and lack of effective CAR-T therapies for solid tumors. For more information on Gracell, please visit www.gracellbio.com and follow @GracellBio on LinkedIn.
Exchange Rate Information This announcement contains translations of certain RMB amounts into U.S. dollars at a specified rate solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars are made at a rate of RMB 7.1135 to US$1.00, the rate in effect as of September 30, 2022 published by the Federal Reserve Board.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsStatements in this press release about future expectations, plans, and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “anticipate,” “look forward to,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Gracell’s most recent annual report on Form 20-F, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Gracell’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof. Gracell specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether due to new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers should not rely upon the information on this page as current or accurate after its publication date.
Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(All amounts in thousands, except for share and per share data)
As of December 31, As of September 30, 2021 2022 RMB RMB US$ ASSETS Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents 1,829,006 1,431,460 201,232 Short-term investments 3,615 198,160 27,857 Prepayments and other current assets 52,459 40,337 5,670 Total current assets 1,885,080 1,669,957 234,759 Property, equipment and software, net 123,818 123,780 17,401 Operating lease right-of-use assets 29,652 26,133 3,674 Other non-current assets 21,587 18,510 2,602 TOTAL ASSETS 2,060,137 1,838,380 258,436 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY Current liabilities: Accruals and other current liabilities 69,120 96,069 13,505 Short-term borrowings 66,100 117,600 16,532 Operating lease liabilities, current 17,527 21,699 3,050 Amounts due to related parties — 3,674 517 Current portion of long-term borrowings 2,376 7,498 1,054 Total current liabilities 155,123 246,540 34,658 Operating lease liabilities, non-current 14,830 8,833 1,242 Long-term borrowings 54,349 48,149 6,769 Other non-current liabilities 8,464 7,908 1,112 TOTAL LIABILITIES 232,766 311,430 43,781 Shareholders’ equity: Ordinary shares 223 223 31 Additional paid-in capital 2,902,856 2,922,604 410,853 Accumulated other comprehensive income/(loss) (57,936) 98,710 13,877 Accumulated deficit (1,017,772) (1,494,587) (210,106)Total shareholders’ equity 1,827,371 1,526,950 214,655 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY 2,060,137 1,838,380 258,436
Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss
(All amounts in thousands, except for share and per share data)
For the three months ended September 30, For the nine months ended September 30, 2021 2022 2021 2022 RMB RMB US$ RMB RMB US$Revenue Licensing and collaboration revenue 366 — — 366 — — Expenses Research and development expenses (88,617) (133,350) (18,746) (219,317) (372,245) (52,329)Administrative expenses (42,861) (36,434) (5,122) (105,043) (103,090) (14,492)Loss from operations (131,112) (169,784) (23,868) (323,994) (475,335) (66,821)Interest income 2,985 3,583 504 5,651 8,781 1,234 Interest expense (1,089) (1,864) (262) (3,736) (4,946) (695)Other income 733 2,097 295 866 4,037 568 Foreign exchange loss, net (802) (6,089) (856) (1,903) (9,484) (1,333)Others, net — 130 18 (53) 132 19 Loss before income tax (129,285) (171,927) (24,169) (323,169) (476,815) (67,028)Income tax expense — — — — — — Net loss (129,285) (171,927) (24,169) (323,169) (476,815) (67,028)Accretion of convertible redeemable preferred shares toredemption value — — — (1,989) — — Net loss attributable to Gracell Biotechnologies Inc.’sordinary shareholders (129,285) (171,927) (24,169) (325,158) (476,815) (67,028)Other comprehensive income/(loss) Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of nil tax 7,340 81,056 11,395 (3,798) 156,647 22,021 Total comprehensive loss attributable to GracellBiotechnologies Inc.’s ordinary shareholders (121,945) (90,871) (12,774) (328,956) (320,168) (45,007)Weighted average number of ordinary shares used in pershare calculation: –Basic 336,494,609 338,414,757 338,414,757 325,838,207 338,301,687 338,301,687 –Diluted 336,494,609 338,414,757 338,414,757 325,838,207 338,301,687 338,301,687 Net loss per share attributable to Gracell BiotechnologiesInc.’s ordinary shareholders –Basic (0.38) (0.51) (0.07) (1.00) (1.41) (0.20)–Diluted (0.38) (0.51) (0.07) (1.00) (1.41) (0.20)