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10 May, 2022 - 20:27 By Tony Quested

F-star stands on the cusp of history, says Forster

Transatlantic biopharma company F-star Therapeutics has a date with destiny in one of the most important years in its history, CEO Eliot Forster told stockholders as he announced Q1 results to the end of March.

The Nasdaq-quoted business is anchored in both Cambridge UK and its Massachusetts namesake in the US as it develops nextgen immunotherapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer.

Anchored locally at Babraham Research Campus, F-star is pioneering the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in cancer therapy. Q1 revenue fell and losses increased in the first quarter but Forster felt the company had garnered its resources well and that F-star was firmly on course for glory.

He said: “This year is one of the most important years in F-star’s history, with data readouts expected across all four of our clinical programs, expansion of our partnering activities, and continued development of our organisation.

“During the quarter we increased the number of clinical sites for FS118 and FS120 by expanding beyond the US into the EU. We have also further advanced our understanding of the differentiated mechanism of FS118 in modulating LAG-3 cell surface expression. 

“F-star continues to execute and create value for shareholders by advancing our programs and enabling our partners to develop next-generation bispecific therapeutics by leveraging the power of our discovery platform.”

Forster very much pitched a show of faith in a bold new future rather than a figures play.

Number crunchers will weigh up that cash and equivalents fell in the three months from December 31 by almost $10 million – from $78.5m to $68.8m. They will note that R & D spend in the quarter were also up to $8m, a modest rise on the $7.1m in the corresponding quarter of 2021.

Forster said the increase of $0.9m was primarily due to increased CRO costs as more patients are enrolled in clinical studies, increased R & D staff-related costs primarily to support clinical operations, offset by a reduction in manufacturing costs.

The net Q1 loss was $12.1m – $0.57 per share – compared to $9.7m ($1.07 per share) in the first quarter of 2021.

F-star’s proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate. The company has more than 500 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. 

It has also attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.

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