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Assembly Biosciences Reports Third Quarter 2023 Financial Results and Recent Updates

  • Established partnership with Gilead Sciences to advance differentiated treatments for herpesviruses, HBV, HDV and beyond
  • Now anticipate four development candidates from expanded pipeline in clinical development by the end of 2024
  • Named Anuj Gaggar, MD, PhD, as chief medical officer
  • $100 million upfront payment and investment received from Gilead in October extends projected cash runway into 2H 2025

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Assembly Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASMB), a biotechnology company developing innovative antiviral therapeutics targeting serious viral diseases, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2023, and recent corporate updates.

“The Assembly Bio team has made exceptional progress in building a portfolio of promising antiviral candidates for herpesviruses, hepatitis B and hepatitis D,” said Jason Okazaki, chief executive officer and president of Assembly Bio. “With our new long-term partnership with Gilead, a pioneer in virology, we are excited by the opportunity to accelerate progress on our antiviral pipeline to bring next-generation therapeutics to individuals living with serious viral infections. We believe that the financial and scientific resources provided by the collaboration position us well to reach critical short- and long-term milestones and deliver value for patients and our shareholders. We are also pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Anuj Gaggar to our leadership team as chief medical officer as we look ahead to having multiple antiviral candidates in the clinic next year.”

Third Quarter 2023 and Recent Updates

  • Entered a long-term partnership with Gilead Sciences to advance discovery and development of novel antiviral therapies.
    • Collaboration combines Assembly Bio’s advanced virology research capabilities with Gilead’s established development and commercialization expertise in antiviral medicines to create a synergistic partnership focused on propelling scientific innovation and delivering new treatments to patients with significant unmet need.
    • Partnership includes Gilead opt-in rights on Assembly Bio’s current and future pipeline candidates, including two contributed Gilead herpesvirus programs.
    • $100 million upfront investment by Gilead, including equity investment, plus potential for future regulatory, commercial, opt-in and collaboration extension payments, provides runway to drive portfolio growth and support advancement of company’s current and future clinical and preclinical programs.
  • Strengthened the leadership team with the naming of Anuj Gaggar, MD, PhD, as chief medical officer, as announced separately today. Dr. Gaggar is an infectious disease specialist who has focused on the development of new therapies in viral diseases including chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections.
  • Nominated first development candidate for the treatment of chronic HDV infection. ABI-6250, an orally bioavailable small molecule entry inhibitor, is moving toward IND-enabling studies with the goal of beginning clinical studies by the end of 2024.
  • Presented preclinical data in two oral and one poster presentation highlighting the progress of multiple HBV and HDV pipeline programs at the 2023 International HBV Meeting held September 19-23, 2023.

Anticipated Milestones

Assembly Bio anticipates having four candidates in clinical studies by the end of 2024:

  • ABI-5366, a long-acting helicase-primase inhibitor targeting high-recurrence genital herpes, is expected to enter the clinic by mid-2024.
  • The herpes simplex virus (HSV) helicase-primase inhibitor candidate contributed by Gilead is expected to enter the clinic by the end of 2024.
  • ABI-4334, a potent next-generation capsid assembly modulator for HBV, has completed Phase 1a development and is expected to enter Phase 1b by mid-2024.
  • ABI-6250, a HDV entry inhibitor, is expected to enter the clinic by the end of 2024.

Upcoming Conferences

  • Preclinical and clinical data from the company’s viral hepatitis portfolio will be highlighted in two presentations at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), The Liver Meeting®, taking place November 10-14, 2023, in Boston.

Third Quarter 2023 Financial Results

  • Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $46.2 million as of September 30, 2023, compared to $59.8 million as of June 30, 2023. With the $100 million received from Gilead in October, Assembly Bio’s cash position is projected to fund operations into the second half of 2025.
  • Research and development expenses were $10.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to $18.1 million for the same period in 2022. The decrease is due to completion of the clinical trials for ABI-3733 and ABI-4334, discontinued development of vebicorvir and ABI-2158, and decreases in employee and contractor-related expenses.
  • General and administrative expenses were $4.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2022. The decrease is due to overall cost-saving initiatives.
  • Net loss attributable to common stockholders was $14.4 million, or $0.27 per basic and diluted share, for the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to $23.1 million, or $0.48 per basic and diluted share, for the same period in 2022.

About Assembly Biosciences
Assembly Biosciences is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of innovative small-molecule antiviral therapeutics designed to change the path of serious viral diseases and improve the lives of patients worldwide. Led by an accomplished team of leaders in virologic drug development, Assembly Bio is committed to improving outcomes for patients struggling with the serious, chronic impacts of herpesvirus, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infections. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements
The information in this press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to materially differ. These risks and uncertainties include: Assembly Bio’s ability to realize the potential benefits of its collaboration with Gilead, including all financial aspects of the collaboration and equity investments; Assembly Bio’s ability to initiate and complete clinical studies involving its therapeutic product candidates, including studies contemplated by Assembly Bio’s collaboration with Gilead, in the currently anticipated timeframes or at all; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of Assembly Bio’s collaboration with Gilead; safety and efficacy data from clinical or nonclinical studies may not warrant further development of Assembly Bio’s product candidates; clinical and nonclinical data presented at conferences may not differentiate Assembly Bio’s product candidates from other companies’ candidates; results of nonclinical studies may not be representative of disease behavior in a clinical setting and may not be predictive of the outcomes of clinical studies; and other risks identified from time to time in Assembly Bio’s reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). You are urged to consider statements that include the words may, will, would, could, should, might, believes, hopes, estimates, projects, potential, expects, plans, anticipates, intends, continues, forecast, designed, goal or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. Assembly Bio intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. More information about Assembly Bio’s risks and uncertainties are more fully detailed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Assembly Bio’s filings with the SEC, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Except as required by law, Assembly Bio assumes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor and Corporate: 
Shannon Ryan 
SVP, Investor Relations, Corporate Affairs and Alliance Management 
(415) 738-2992

Sam Brown Inc.
Hannah Hurdle
(805) 338-4752 

(In thousands except for share amounts and par value)
  September 30, December 31,
   2023   2022 
Current assets    
Cash and cash equivalents $26,656  $52,418 
Marketable securities  19,554   39,192 
Accounts receivable from collaboration     944 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets  3,462   4,413 
Total current assets  49,672   96,967 
Property and equipment, net  561   743 
Operating lease right-of-use assets  844   3,195 
Other assets  552   889 
Total assets $ 51,629  $ 101,794 
Current liabilities    
Accounts payable $758  $2,493 
Accrued research and development expenses  1,619   3,122 
Other accrued expenses  3,886   7,317 
Operating lease liabilities - short-term  869   3,364 
Total current liabilities  7,132   16,296 
Deferred revenue  2,733   2,733 
Operating lease liabilities - long-term  50   101 
Total liabilities  9,915   19,130 
Commitments and contingencies    
Stockholders' equity    
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 5,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued or outstanding      
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 150,000,000 shares authorized as of September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022; 52,614,194 and 48,894,973 shares issued and outstanding as of September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, respectively  53   49 
Additional paid-in capital  816,722   807,938 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (275)  (803)
Accumulated deficit  (774,786)  (724,520)
Total stockholders' equity  41,714   82,664 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 51,629  $ 101,794 

(In thousands except for share and per share amounts)
  Three Months Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30,
   2023   2022   2023   2022 
Operating expenses        
Research and development $10,824  $18,130  $37,894  $53,127 
General and administrative  4,224   5,271   14,201   18,009 
Total operating expenses  15,048   23,401   52,095   71,136 
Loss from operations  (15,048)  (23,401)  (52,095)  (71,136)
Other income        
Interest and other income, net  628   256   1,829   439 
Total other income  628   256   1,829   439 
Net loss $ (14,420) $ (23,145) $ (50,266) $ (70,697)
Other comprehensive loss        
Unrealized gain (loss) on marketable securities  50   (1)  528   (580)
Comprehensive loss $ (14,370) $ (23,146) $ (49,738) $ (71,277)
Net loss per share, basic and diluted $(0.27) $(0.48) $(0.97) $(1.46)
Weighted average common shares outstanding, basic and diluted  52,565,333   48,448,399   51,951,123   48,289,501 

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