Arbutus Announces 2023 Corporate Objectives and Provides Financial Update

Arbutus Biopharma

WARMINSTER, PA — Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq: ABUS) announced its 2023 corporate objectives and provided a financial update.

William Collier, President and CEO of Arbutus Biopharma, stated, “Building upon our accomplishments in 2022, we are poised in this coming year to expand our clinical footprint in HBV with the initiation of clinical trials for two of our HBV assets: AB-101, our oral PD-L1 inhibitor, and AB-161, our next generation oral RNA destabilizer. In 2023, we also anticipate obtaining data in our AB-729 HBV clinical trials, which we believe will inform our path forward to a combination curative regimen for patients with cHBV. In addition, we are excited to move our newly nominated pan-coronavirus Mpro compound, AB-343, into the clinic. With a strong balance sheet, we are well capitalized to fund our 2023 corporate objectives and we expect our cash runway to extend into the fourth quarter of 2024.”

2023 Corporate Objectives:
HBV Franchise:

  • Announce additional off-treatment data from AB-729-001, the Company’s Phase 1a/1b clinical trial, in the first half of 2023.
  • Announce preliminary data from patients receiving PEG-IFNα-2a (IFN) in the Phase 2a clinical trial evaluating the combination of AB-729, the Company’s RNAi therapeutic, nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) therapy and IFN in the first half of 2023.
  • Amend the Phase 2a clinical trial evaluating AB-729, NA therapy and Vaccitech’s therapeutic vaccine, VTP-300, to include an additional arm with nivolumab (Opdivo®), and dose first patient in this arm in the first half of 2023. Announce preliminary data from patients who received AB-729, NA and VTP-300 in the second half of 2023.
  • Initiate a Phase 1 healthy subject clinical trial with AB-161 in the first half of 2023; single-ascending dose data is expected from the clinical trial in the second half of 2023.
  • Initiate a Phase 1 healthy subject clinical trial with AB-101 in the first half of 2023; data is expected from the single-ascending dose portion of the clinical trial in the second half of 2023.
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Coronavirus Franchise:

  • Complete IND-enabling studies and initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial with AB-343, the Company’s lead candidate that inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 main protease (Mpro), in the second half of 2023.
  • Nominate an nsp12 clinical candidate and initiate IND-enabling studies in the second half of 2023.

Financial Update:

  • The Company reported it had cash, cash equivalents and investments in marketable securities totaling approximately $185 million as of December 31, 2022.
  • For the full year of 2022, the Company reported it received $20.5 million of net proceeds from the issuance of common shares under Arbutus’ “at-the-market” offering program. As of December 31, 2022, it had approximately 157.5 million common shares issued and outstanding, and approximately 15.5 million stock options outstanding.
  • The Company stated that it expects its net cash burn in 2023 to range from $95 to $100 million. The Company believes its cash, cash equivalents and investments in marketable securities of approximately $185 million as of December 31, 2022, are sufficient to fund the Company’s operations into the fourth quarter of 2024.
  • The preliminary cash, cash equivalents and investments, the amount received from the issuance of common shares under Arbutus’ “at-the-market” offering program and the common shares and stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2022, were calculated prior to the completion of an audit by Arbutus’ independent registered public accounting firm and are therefore subject to adjustment.

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