BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS — Akouos, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKUS), a precision genetic medicine company dedicated to developing potential gene therapies for individuals living with disabling hearing loss worldwide, reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020 and provided an update on recent business highlights.
“Our upsized initial public offering, which we completed in June, leaves us in a strong position to continue to advance our lead product candidate, AK-OTOF, for the treatment of hearing loss due to mutations in the OTOF (otoferlin) gene, into the clinic and further develop our pipeline of programs that leverage various AAV-mediated modalities to treat multiple inner ear disorders”
–Manny Simons, Ph.D., Founder, President and CEO of Akouos
“We have built a team with deep experience and expertise, which will be a tremendous asset as we continue to execute on our mission to make healthy hearing available to all,” commented Dr. Manny Simons, Founder, President and CEO of Akouos. (click here to read Dr. Simon’s recent interview with HHTM).
Recent Business Highlights:
- Appointed Alan Smith, Ph.D., as chief technology officer – In June 2020, Alan Smith, Ph.D., joined Akouos as chief technology officer. Dr. Smith brings over 30 years of experience in cellular therapeutics and previously served as executive vice president, technical operations at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals.
- Strengthened board of directors with appointment of Saira Ramasastry – In June 2020, Saira Ramasastry joined the board of directors of Akouos. Ms. Ramasastry currently serves as managing partner of Life Sciences Advisory, a firm that she founded to provide strategic advice and business development solutions for life science companies.
- Expanded the role of Arthur Tzianabos, Ph.D. to chairman of board of directors – In August 2020, Akouos announced the appointment of its board member Arthur Tzianabos to chairman of the board of directors.
- Completed upsized Initial Public Offering – In June 2020, Akouos completed its initial public offering of 14,375,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $17.00 per share, including the full exercise of the underwriter’s option to purchase additional shares. Gross proceeds from the IPO were $244.4 million and net proceeds from the offering, after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering expenses, were approximately $223.8 million.
- Presented two posters at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy 23rd Annual Meeting – In May 2020, Akouos presented two posters highlighting Akouos’s use of AAVAnc80 vector technology and its potential to address many forms of hearing loss.
Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results:
- Cash Position – Cash and cash equivalents were $333.0 million as of June 30, 2020, as compared to $120.2 million as of March 31, 2020. Total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at June 30, 2020 includes total net proceeds of approximately $223.8 million from the company’s IPO in June 2020. Akouos expects the cash balance to fund operations for at least the next two years.
- Research and Development (R&D) Expenses – R&D expenses were $9.9 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020, compared to $4.4 million for the same period in 2019. The increase was primarily due to contract manufacturing costs, the initiation of preclinical IND-enabling studies for AK-OTOF, and the growth in the number of R&D employees and their related activities, as well as the expense allocated to R&D related to Akouos’s leased facilities.
- General and Administrative (G&A) Expenses – G&A expenses were $2.7 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020, compared to $0.7 million for the same period in 2019. The increase was primarily due to the growth in the number of G&A employees and other administrative expenses, as well as the expense allocated to G&A related to Akouos’s leased facilities.
- Net Loss – Net loss was $12.5 million, or $11.14 loss per share, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020, compared to $2.0 million, or $3.42 loss per share, for the same period in 2019.
Akouos is a precision genetic medicine company dedicated to developing gene therapies with the potential to restore, improve, and preserve high-acuity physiologic hearing for individuals living with disabling hearing loss worldwide. Leveraging its precision genetic medicine platform that incorporates a proprietary adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector library and a novel delivery approach, Akouos is focused on developing precision therapies for forms of sensorineural hearing loss. Headquartered in Boston, Akouos was founded in 2016 by leaders in the fields of neurotology, genetics, inner ear drug delivery, and AAV gene therapy.