NORCROSS, Ga., March 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:GALT), the leading developer of therapeutics that target galectin proteins, today reported financial results for the year ended December 31, 2016. These results are included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is available at www.sec.gov.
Galectin Therapeutics management will host a conference call at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time March 28, 2017 to discuss this press release.
To access the conference call dial 844-899-6544 and provide the operator with Pin Number 89964111.
Galectin also invites all interested parties to listen to its conference call via webcast at http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/exukm2jh. The webcast will also be available on the investor relations portion of the Company’s website at http://galectintherapeutics.com/. The webcast will be archived on the Company’s website within two hours of the live call. The webcast will be available on the Company’s website at www.galectintherapeutics.com for 90 days.
“Galectin Therapeutics achieved a number of significant milestones in the development of our lead compound, GR-MD-02, during 2016,” said Peter G. Traber, M.D., president, chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Galectin Therapeutics. “Furthermore, we’ve recently completed equity financings that have generated sufficient funding to cover currently planned expenditures through 2017.
"While non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cirrhosis remains GR-MD-02’s primary disease target, a number of additional trials have provided encouraging early results that provide additional insight on the clinical effect of GR-MD-02. In total, what we have seen in our early trials in moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and severe atopic dermatitis have consistently shown that GR-MD-02 demonstrates clinically significant, biological activity in humans.
“NASH cirrhosis represents a large unmet medical need with no currently approved therapies, and we are very pleased with our progress in the NASH-CX trial. A drug that can halt progression of, or reverse existing fibrosis, in NASH cirrhosis patients would be a breakthrough therapeutic intervention that may prevent complications, alleviate the need for liver transplant, and even prevent death.
“Our Phase 2b NASH-CX clinical trial enrollment exceeded its target and, to date, 71 patients have completed all 52 weeks of infusions with GR-MD-02, and 155 patients have completed 26 weeks of infusions. More than 3,400 infusions (or 85% of the maximum infusions in the trial) have been administered, with no drug-related serious adverse reactions and a dropout rate that is below the rate included in the trial design. The top-line data readout of the NASH-CX trial remains on track for early December 2017.
“The Providence Cancer Center is continuing two investigator-initiated Phase 1 clinical trials of GR-MD-02 used in combination with approved immunotherapies, Yervoy® and Keytruda® in patients with advanced melanoma, oral/head and neck cancer (OHN) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). There have been no safety concerns in either of these studies. Of the five patients with advanced melanoma who underwent combination therapy with GR-MD-02 (2 mg/kg) and Keytruda®, one had an impressive partial response, heading towards a complete response, and one had a mixed response.
“Galectin Therapeutics also announced positive results in studies of GR-MD-02 for patients with serious skin diseases. This is an encouraging new indication for GR-MD-02 and one of the previously mentioned demonstrations that the drug is biologically active in humans.
“A Phase 2, exploratory study of GR-MD-02 in patients with severe plaque psoriasis showed all five patients enrolled had significant clinical improvement (mean of 52% improvement) as measured by an objective measurement, the PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index). After receiving 8 mg/kg doses of GR-MD-02 for up to 24 weeks, the fifth patient, who also had the most severe baseline disease, had an 82% PASI improvement approximately one month following the full thirteen infusions (24 weeks).
“In an investigator-initiated protocol, GR-MD-02 was also used to treat three adult patients with severe atopic dermatitis, each of whom had been recalcitrant to multiple therapies over many years. All three patients have had a marked clinical effect with near resolution of pruritus, or itching, and regression of skin lesions. Two patients achieved a 64% and 74% reduction in Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI), after only 6 weeks and 3 drug infusions. These findings are believed to demonstrate a clinically significant effect of this novel investigational drug in this patient population.”
“In summary, we believe that Galectin is in a solid position from clinical, financial and leadership perspectives,” Dr. Traber concluded.
For the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company reported a net loss applicable to common stockholders of $22.4 million, or $0.76 per share, compared with a net loss applicable to common stockholders of $21.1 million, or $0.88 per share, for 2015. The increase is largely due to higher research and development expenses primarily related to the Phase 2 clinical program.
Research and development expense for 2016 was $15.3 million, compared with $13.1 million for 2015. The increase primarily relates to costs for the Phase 2 clinical trials begun in 2015, partially offset by lower preclinical costs.
General and administrative expense for 2016 was $6.2 million, compared with $7.0 million for 2015, primarily due to a decrease in stock based compensation.
As of December 31, 2016, the Company had $15.4 million of non-restricted cash and cash equivalents. In January and February 2017, the Company raised a total of $1.5 million in net proceeds from issuance of common stock. The Company believes it has sufficient cash to fund currently planned operations and research and development activities through December 31, 2017.
About Galectin Therapeutics
Galectin Therapeutics is dedicated to developing novel therapies to improve the lives of patients with chronic liver and skin diseases and cancer. Galectin's lead drug (GR-MD-02) is a carbohydrate-based drug that inhibits the galectin-3 protein which is directly involved in multiple inflammatory, fibrotic, and malignant diseases. The lead development program is in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with cirrhosis, the most advanced form of NASH related fibrosis. This is the most common liver disease and one of the largest drug development opportunities available today. Additional development programs are in treatment of severe atopic dermatitis, moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, and in combination immunotherapy for advanced melanoma and other malignancies. Galectin seeks to leverage extensive scientific and development expertise as well as established relationships with external sources to achieve cost-effective and efficient development. Additional information is available at www.galectintherapeutics.com.