Technology  March 16, 2022

Arca Biopharma grows losses in 2021 as R&D for COVID therapy ramps up

WESTMINSTER — ARCA Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ABIO) almost doubled its losses in 2021 compared with the previous fiscal year as the company increased its research and development spending in an effort to bring its COVID-19 therapy drug candidate to market.

Net losses in 2021 totaled $19.3 million, or $1.39 per basic and diluted share, compared with $9.7 million, or $2.07 per basic and diluted share, in 2020.

R&D spending last year was $13.8 million, up from $5 million in 2020.

“The $8.8 million increase in R&D expenses in 2021 as compared to 2020 was primarily related to the conduct of the rNAPc2 clinical trial. R&D expenses in 2022 are expected to be consistent with 2021,” Arca said in its earnings report. 

The company grew its cash from $49.1 million in 2020 to $53.4 million in 2021, a total that Arca expects to be sufficient to fund its operations through the middle of 2023.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year designated the investigation of COVID-19 drug candidate rNAPc2 to its Fast Track development program. 

“We have completed blinded data collection from the Phase 2b clinical trial evaluating rNAPc2 as a potential treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and look forward to unblinding and subsequently reporting results of the study in the last week of this month,” Arca CEO Michael Bristow said in a prepared statement. “We believe rNAPc2 has the potential to be effective in addressing the impact of COVID-19 from multiple pathways due to its combination of anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. We look forward to sharing the data with the FDA at an end of Phase 2 meeting.”

Arca is also developing Gencaro (bucindolol hydrochloride), a beta-blocker and mild vasodilator, as a potential treatment for atrial fibrillation in heart failure patients. 

The company is evaluating the feasibility of a clinical trial for Gencaro.

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