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Cell science MaxCyte annual results reveal a period of significant progress

"We are pleased to have carried the strong momentum from the first half of 2016 through to the end of the calendar year, continuing to make significant progress across all areas of the business,” said chief executive Doug Doerfler.
Cell science MaxCyte annual results reveal a period of significant progress
The company has a new take on tackling tackling cancer

The cell-based medicines group MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has made significant progress operationally and financially in the year since its stock market debut here in London.

The highlights included an agreement earlier this month with a Bayer joint venture to help develop gene-edited drugs that will generate an upfront and milestone payments.

It has developed a strategic research collaboration with the Washington University in St Louis to use the firm’s CARMA platform in blood cancers and to develop cell therapies.

And at the same time MaxCyte has advanced its tie-up with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and hopes to take a CARMA drug candidate into this clinic this year.

The CARMA platform is one of the drug development sector’s next-generation innovations that use the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

Early results from pre-clinical research carried out by the world famous Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore have been encouraging.

Hybrid model ...

The company is almost self-funding thanks to its hybrid model where it sells and licenses its cell engineering technology to some of the world’s largest pharma and biotechnology companies.

This part of the business generated revenues of US$12.3mln, up almost a third on the year earlier.

The investment in CARMA for the year ended December 31 was US$1.3mln, up from US$300,000 a year earlier.

And while MaxCyte booked a loss, it was a modest deficit at US$2mln.

More importantly it was sitting on cash of US$11.7mln at the year-end, while its total assets were US$16.1mln at the point, up from US$6.4mln.

"We are pleased to have carried the strong momentum from the first half of 2016 through to the end of the calendar year, continuing to make significant progress across all areas of the business,” said chief executive Doug Doerfler.

Shares boost ...

In late afternoon trading, MaxCyte shares were almost 1% higher, up 2.5p to 290.0p.

In a note to clients, analysts at Panmure Gordon reiterated their ‘buy’ rating on MaxCyte and hiked the target price to 349p from 280p following the results.

They said: “MaxCyte has had a stellar year, delivering more than was expected in the first 12 months since IPO.”

The analysts added: “Customer numbers have risen in both Drug Discovery and Cell Therapy, where the first new commercial contract has been signed.

“In addition CARMA continues to progress, with pre-clinical data released and an IND application expected in 2017.

“MaxCyte has also revealed new applications for its Flow Electroporation technology demonstrating further breadth to the market opportunity.”

 -- Adds share price, broker comment --

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