XCUR17: XCUR17 is an antisense SNA that targets the mRNA encoding IL-17RA, a protein that is considered essential in the initiation and maintenance of psoriasis. Our proposed Phase 1 trial of XCUR17 is a microplaque study in patients with mild to moderate psoriasis. BfArM, the German regulatory authority, has approved the Phase 1 clinical trial. The company expects the first patient to be dosed in early 2018 and expects the clinical trial to be completed in mid-2018.
AST-005: AST-005 is an antisense SNA that targets the mRNA encoding TNF. AST-005 is the subject of our collaboration with Purdue Pharma L.P. Purdue Pharma L.P. has completed subject dosing in the Phase 1b clinical trial for AST-005. The Phase 1b clinical trial was conducted in Germany and was intended to evaluate, among other things, the safety and tolerability of AST-005.
2017 Financial Results and Financial Guidance
Cash Position: As of December 31, 2017, Exicure had cash and cash equivalents of $25.8 million compared to $19.6 million as of December 31, 2016. In 2017, Exicure raised approximately $31.5 million in gross proceeds from the private placement of common stock.
Research and Development (R&D) Expenses: Research and development expenses were $14.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $13.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in research and development expense of $0.4 million was primarily due to a net increase in costs related to the company’s clinical development programs of $2.2 million and higher employee-related expenses of $0.4 million, mostly offset by lower platform and discovery-related expense of $2.2 million.
General and Administrative (G&A) Expenses: General and administrative expenses were $7.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $3.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in general and administrative expenses of $3.5 million was primarily due to the write-off of costs related to financing, non-capitalized costs related to the reverse merger, higher stock-based (non-cash) compensation expense, and compliance costs and other costs associated with our transition to being a public company.
Net Loss: Net loss was $12.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to net loss of $16.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
Cash Runway Guidance: Exicure believes that, based on its current operating plans and as of the date of this press release, its existing cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2017 is sufficient to meet its anticipated cash requirements for the next twelve months.
Dr. David Giljohann, Chief Executive Officer of Exicure, will be giving a presentation on March 20th at the American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Dr. Giljohann will also be presenting at the Future Leaders in Biotech conference on March 23rd at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York.
About Exicure, Inc.
Exicure, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a new class of immunomodulatory and gene regulating drugs against validated targets. Exicure's proprietary 3-dimensional, spherical nucleic acid (SNA™) architecture unlocks the potential of therapeutic