Wave Life Sciences have reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2017, and provided a business update.

“2017 was a transformative year for Wave as we transitioned into clinical development by initiating trials for our three lead neurology programs, established our in-house manufacturing capability and made great progress on delivering three more neurology development programs in 2018,” said Paul Bolno, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wave Life Sciences. “Our expertise in designing potentially first-in-class and innovative medicines continues to grow as we generate additional in vivo data demonstrating the impressive pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of stereopure oligonucleotides in a variety of animal models across multiple organ systems and tissues. We look forward to advancing our existing and planned clinical programs, collaborating with our partners at Takeda and continuing to build our internal capabilities in preparation for the potential commercialization of our lead programs.”

WVE-210201

Wave continues to advance its research and clinical efforts in neuromuscular diseases, including WVE-210201, currently in a global Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of DMD patients amenable to exon 51 skipping. Safety data from the trial are anticipated in Q3 2018 and expected to facilitate the rapid transition to an open-label extension study and efficacy study. Both studies following the Phase 1 are designed to include an interim efficacy readout of dystrophin expression from muscle biopsies in H2 2019.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Financial Results and Financial Guidance

Wave reported a net loss of $30.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $18.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The company reported a net loss of $102.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 as compared to $55.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in net loss for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 was mainly due to increases in research and development efforts, infrastructure investments, and employee headcount to support its corporate goals.

Research and development expenses were $25.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 as compared to $14.0 million for the same period in 2016. Research and development expenses for the full year were $79.3 million as compared to $40.8 million for the prior year. The increase in research and development expenses for the fourth quarter and full year was primarily driven by increases in research, preclinical and clinical investments, as well as facilities-related expenses to continue to advance Wave’s expanding pipeline.

General and administrative expenses were $6.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 as compared to $5.2 million for the same period in the prior year. General and administrative expenses were $27.0 million for the full year as compared to $16.0 million for the prior year. The increase in general and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter and full year was primarily driven by the continued growth in Wave’s employee headcount, as well as increases in facilities-related expenses and other general operating expenses.

Wave ended 2017 with $142.5 million in cash and cash equivalents compared to $150.3 million as of December 31, 2016. The decrease in cash and cash equivalents was primarily the result of Wave’s annual operating loss of $102.0 million partially offset by the $93.5 million in net proceeds from the April 2017follow-on offering.

The company expects that its cash and cash equivalents, together with the committed cash from its collaboration with Takeda, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, have the potential to fund its operating and capital expenditure requirements to the end of 2020.