At September 30, 2019, prior to the offering on October 18th, ProQR held cash and cash equivalents of €74.8 million, compared to €105.6 million at December 31, 2018. The cash balance at September 30, 2019 excludes the net proceeds of €49.3 million from the underwritten offering of ordinary shares in October 2019. Net cash used in operating activities during the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 was €8.8 million, compared to €4.3 million for the same period last year.
Research and development costs increased to €11.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 compared to €6.3 million for the same period last year due to increased clinical trial activity.
General and administrative costs increased to €2.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 compared to €2.6 million for the same period last year.
Net loss for the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 was €12.2 million or €0.31 per share, compared to a €6.0 million loss or €0.18 per share for the same period last year.
In October 2019 the Company sold an aggregate of 10.5 million ordinary shares, with net proceeds to the Company of €49.3 million.
For further financial information for the period ended September 30, 2019, please refer to the financial statements appearing at the end of this release.
Sepofarsen (QR-110) is a first-in-class investigational RNA-based oligonucleotide designed to address the underlying cause of Leber’s congenital amaurosis 10 due to the p.Cys998X mutation (also known as the c.2991+1655A>G mutation) in the CEP290 gene. The p.Cys998X mutation leads to aberrant splicing of the mRNA and non-functional CEP290 protein. Sepofarsen is designed to enable normal splicing, resulting in restoration of normal (wild type) CEP290 mRNA and subsequent production of functional CEP290 protein. Sepofarsen is intended to be administered through intravitreal injections in the eye and has been granted orphan drug designation in the United States and the European Union and received fast-track designation and rare pediatric disease designation from the FDA as well as access to the PRIME scheme by the EMA.
QR-421a is a first-in-class investigational RNA-based oligonucleotide designed to address the underlying cause of vision loss in Usher syndrome type 2 and non-syndromic retinitis pigmentosa (RP) due to mutations in exon 13 of the USH2A gene. QR-421a is designed to restore functional Usherin protein by using an exon skipping approach with the aim to stop or reverse vision loss in patients. QR-421a is intended to be administered through intravitreal injections in the eye and has been granted orphan drug designation in the United States and the European Union and received fast-track designation from the FDA.
QR-1123 is a first-in-class investigational RNA-based oligonucleotide that was discovered and developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals using Ionis’ proprietary antisense technology for the treatment of adRP due to the P23H mutation in the RHO gene. The therapy aims to inhibit the formation of the mutated toxic version of the rhodopsin protein by specifically binding the mutated RHO mRNA. Binding of QR-1123 causes allele specific knockdown of the mutant mRNA by a mechanism called RNase H mediated cleavage without affecting the normal RHO mRNA. QR-1123 is intended to be administered through intravitreal injections in the eye and received IND clearance in August 2019.
ProQR Therapeutics is dedicated to changing lives through the creation of transformative RNA medicines for the treatment of severe genetic rare diseases such as Leber’s congenital amaurosis 10, Usher syndrome and autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Based on our unique proprietary RNA repair platform technologies we are growing our pipeline with patients and loved ones in mind.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "goal," "intend," "look forward to", "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding sepofarsen (QR-110) and the clinical development and the therapeutic potential thereof, statements regarding our pipeline of programs targeting inherited retinal dystrophies, statements regarding QR-421a, and the clinical development and the therapeutic potential thereof, statements regarding QR-1123 and the clinical development and therapeutic potential thereof, and our financial position and cash runway. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management only as of the date of this press release. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including, without limitation, the risks, uncertainties and other factors in our filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including certain sections of our annual report filed on Form 20-F. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future, except as required by law.