- CRISPR Associated Nuclease with large business potential
- New Pharma Compound PHA121 enters incubator
- Biocatalysts Ltd. producing soon close to capacity limit
Today, BRAIN Biotech AG (BRAIN, ISIN DE0005203947 / WKN 520394) published its results for the period from October 1st, 2020 to March 31st, 2021. In the first six months of the 2020/2021 financial year, the BRAIN Group generated a revenue of € 18.0 million compared to € 19.9 million in the same period of the previous year, which represents a decline of 9.7 %. Revenues in the second quarter of 2020/21 amounted to € 9.9 million. This corresponds to an increase of 3.3% compared to the second quarter of the previous year. Adjusted Group EBITDA decreased by € 1.3 million from € -0.7 million in the previous year to € -2.0 million in the first six months of the 2020/21 financial year. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter decreased only slightly from € -0.5 million to € -0.6 million compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The cash position at the end of the quarter amounted to € 12.0 million.
Two Strong Additions to the Incubator: CRISPR Associated Nuclease and PHA121
Pharvaris (compound PHA121) is a clinical-stage discovery and development company, founded in 2015 in Switzerland and listed at the NASDAQ. The company focuses on the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE), a medical disorder caused by gene mutation, which results in recurrent attacks of severe swelling. Pharvaris develops as a new treatment option a novel oral bradykinin B2-receptor antagonists (PHA121). BRAIN Group Company AnalytiCon Discovery performed for Pharvaris the PHA121 hit Identification, hit to lead and lead optimization. Milestone payments based on clinical development progress, regulatory events and sales development can reach up to € 11.4 million. In addition, there is a tiered royalty agreement in place with a low to medium-single digit royalty payment on direct and/or indirect net sales if the product will be successfully marketed.
BRAIN Biotech AG has completed the first development phase for a novel genome editing system based on a Non-Cas9 nuclease. The scientist have achieved this breakthrough by combining long standing experience and R&D skills in genome editing throughout the group. This novel CRISPR associated nuclease has been validated internally as well as with partners and it has demonstrated DNA targeting activity in selected bacteria, fungi and yeast. Activity in plants has been achieved but still needs to be validated. Genome editing tests for additional application fields such as mammalian cell lines have been initiated and a first IP application to protect BRAIN´s nuclease sequence is already submitted. It is expected that this novel genome editing system will give BRAIN freedom to operate for internal as well as customer projects and that it promises significant economic upside if the next development steps prove to be successful and a patent is granted.
Business Development by Segment
The BioScience segment, which includes the R&D business with industrial partners and the incubator business, generated revenue of € 4.7 million in the reporting period, down 31.6 % from the prior-year period. This decline is mainly due to some larger projects reaching their planned end phase and delays in the completion of new/follow-up projects in the Tailor-Made-Solutions business. In the second quarter, revenue decreased slightly from € 2.8 million to € 2.7 million compared to the previous year. Compared to the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year, an increase in revenue of € 0.7 million from € 2.0 million to € 2.7 million was achieved. The adjusted EBITDA decreased from € -2.3 million to € -3.4 million.
The lower adjusted EBITDA is mainly due to the decline in sales in the BioScience segment mentioned above, however, because a large part of the costs in the BioScience segment can de-facto be classified as fixed, achieved cost savings were able to partially counteract this decline.
Revenues of the BioIndustrial segment, which covers the scalable product business, reported a slight increase of 2.3 % from € 13.1 million to € 13.4 million in the reporting period. In organic terms, excluding BioSun Biochemicals, revenue decreased by € 0.6 million or 4.2 % from € 13.1 million to € 12.6 million. Adjusted EBITDA decreased slightly from € 1.5 million to € 1.4 million. Within the segment, Biocatalysts Ltd. showed a strong development at the level of turnover. WeissBioTech GmbH continued to record significant revenue declines in the bioethanol business and in wine enzymes. The latter is due, among other things, to effects in connection with the coronavirus. In addition, it remains challenging to win new customers due to the ongoing pandemic.
Lukas Linnig, CFO of BRAIN Biotech AG, says: "BRAIN is partially faced by late cyclical effects from the Covid-19 pandemic within the BioScience segment and its daughter company WeissBioTech. Other parts of the group, such as Biocatalysts, have been mastering the economic crisis remarkably well. The business performance at Biocatalysts is indeed so strong that we are currently discussing to accelerate the second phase of the planned capacity expansion. Very importantly, we have again demonstrated our strong innovation skills by achieving scientfic breakthroughs with our novel CRISPR Associated Nuclease and the pharma compound PHA121. Both projects will now enter our incubator and promise significant economic benefits. I am really proud of the teams here at BRAIN in Zwingenberg and at AnalytiCon Discovery in Potsdam developing novel science into marketable solution.”
Adriaan Moelker, CEO of BRAIN Biotech AG, comments: “The new business development projects which are part of the incubator are one of the major value drivers for our shareholders. We are tightly managing these projects for success and earliest possible commercialization. Mature projects will exit and new exciting projects such as CRISPR Associated Nuclease and PHA121 are increasing the value of our pipeline. We are actively promoting and challenging the progress on each project on a quarterly basis.”
Key financials (first six months of the financial year 2020/21)