Mesoblast share price tumbles on US$32.5m half-year loss

This biotech continues to burn cash.

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The Mesoblast Ltd (ASX: MSB) share price is under pressure on Thursday.

In morning trade, the biotechnology company's shares are down 2.5% to 29.3 cents.

This follows the release of the company's half-year results.

Mesoblast share price falls on big loss

  • Revenue down 1% to US$3.4 million
  • Research and development of US$12.6 million
  • Loss after tax of US$32.5 million

What happened during the half?

During the six months ended 31 December, Mesoblast reported a modest 1% decline in revenue to US$3.4 million.

This revenue was largely from the US$3.2 million in commercialisation revenue relating to royalty income earned on sales of TEMCELL in Japan by its licensee JCR.

One positive was its net cash usage. It came in at US$26.6 million for the half, which is a 14% reduction versus the prior corresponding period.

However, that couldn't stop Mesoblast from recording a loss after tax of US$32.5 million.

Mesoblast ended the period with a cash balance of US$77.6 million.

Management commentary

Mesoblast's chief executive, Silviu Itescu, highlights that the company was very busy with trials and applications during the half. He said:

We were very busy operationally during the last quarter and continued to have positive engagement with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) across our lead programs. We have strengthened our balance sheet while maintaining overall spending constraint in line with our corporate objectives.

For our product Ryoncil (remestemcel-L) for life-threatening steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD) ahead of our upcoming meeting in March we have provided the FDA with new data from a second potency assay that provides additional product characterization as requested by FDA.

Itescu also highlights that its "Phase 3 back pain trial with rexlemestrocel-L, aiming to confirm the durable pain reduction that was seen in the first Phase 3 trial, is underway."

Outlook

Management believes that it is on target to achieve a 23% reduction (US$15 million) in net cash usage compared to FY 2023. Though, this will be partially offset by investment in its Phase 3 programs for SR-aGVHD and CLBP.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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