Cleveland BioLabs executives said Wednesday the company has enough cash to fund its operations through the first half of next year while it continues talks with a key federal agency in a bid to win the funding it needs to complete important trials for its anti-radiation sickness drug.
Yakov Kogan, Cleveland BioLabs’ chief executive officer, said the discussions with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has been a key source of funds in the past, were derailed briefly by the federal government shutdown but have resumed. He declined to elaborate during a conference call on the state of the discussions over the use of its Entolimod drug as a treatment for radiation sickness.
But company officials said Cleveland BioLabs, which had more than $14 million in cash on its books at the end of September, has enough funding in place to continue operating through the end of June. The company, which has been burning through cash at a rate of about $1.3 million a month, obtained a loan for up to $10 million from a technology finance company that further strengthened its funding position.
That financing is important because Cleveland BioLabs continues to lose money while it works to obtain the regulatory approvals it needs to bring the drugs it is developing to market. The company lost $4.1 million, or 9 cents per share, during the third quarter, less than half of its loss of $10.9 million, or 30 cents per share, a year ago.
Cleveland BioLabs executives believe that studies conducted so far have shown great promise for Entolimod as an anti-radiation sickness drug that company officials believe could be stockpiled by governments worldwide to protect citizens and soldiers in the event of a nuclear accident or a terrorist attack.
The tests that the company has conducted so far have shown encouraging results that a single dose of Entolimod, administered 25 hours after exposure, can greatly increase survival rates following a potentially lethal exposure to radiation. But further studies must be done before Cleveland BioLabs can start selling the drug, and those additional tests will take a considerable amount of both time and money.