Assembly Biosciences Reports Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results and Recent Updates

  • Herpesvirus candidate ABI-5366 anticipated to enter clinic in first half of 2024
  • New data for several pipeline programs presented at IHW and EASL 2023
  • Additional development candidate nomination expected in 2023

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Assembly Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASMB), a biotechnology company developing innovative antiviral therapeutics targeting serious viral diseases, today reported financial results and recent updates for the second quarter ended June 30, 2023.

“We are excited about the advancement of 5366, our long-acting helicase-primase inhibitor targeting high-recurrence genital herpes, into GLP toxicology studies and are working quickly to begin clinical trials for this candidate in the first half of next year,” said Jason Okazaki, chief executive officer and president of Assembly Bio. “In parallel, our research organization continues to progress towards a second development candidate nomination, which we expect later this year. We are pleased with the progress of our expanded virology pipeline, for which strong preclinical data from multiple programs were highlighted at recent scientific meetings.”

Second Quarter 2023 and Recent Updates

  • Continued IND-enabling studies, including initiation of GLP toxicology studies, for development candidate ABI-5366 (5366), a long-acting helicase-primase inhibitor targeting high-recurrence genital herpes
  • Scientific conferences:
    • Presented data highlighting the preclinical characterization of 5366 in one oral presentation and one poster at the 47th Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop (IHW) held July 15-19, 2023
    • Presented five posters at the International Liver CongressTM, the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), held June 21-24, 2023, including preclinical data for the company’s oral, small-molecule hepatitis B virus (HBV)/hepatitis delta virus (HDV) entry inhibitor program and results from in vitro and clinical studies of the next-generation core inhibitors ABI-4334 (4334) and ABI-H3733 (3733)
    • Presented during the Science of HBV Cure meeting held June 2-3, 2023, on 4334

Anticipated Milestones and Events

  • Nominate an additional development candidate from the expanded research portfolio in 2023
  • Complete IND/CTA submission for 5366 and initiate clinical studies in the first half of 2024
  • Advance an additional development candidate into clinical studies by year-end 2024

Upcoming Conferences

  • Three abstracts accepted for presentation at the 2023 International HBV Meeting taking place September 19-23, 2023, in Kobe, Japan, highlighting preclinical and in vitro data for the company’s oral, small-molecule HBV/HDV entry inhibitor program, small-molecule, liver-focused interferon alpha receptor agonist program and next-generation core inhibitor candidate 4334

Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results

  • Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $59.8 million as of June 30, 2023, compared to $73.0 million as of March 31, 2023. Assembly Bio’s cash position is projected to fund operations through the third quarter of 2024.
  • Research and development expenses were $12.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2023, compared to $17.8 million for the same period in 2022. The decrease is primarily due to prior year preclinical work and start-up costs preparing for the trials for 3733 and 4334 as well as the discontinued development of vebicorvir and ABI-H2158 and decreases in employee and contractor-related expenses.
  • General and administrative expenses were $5.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2023, compared to $6.8 million for the same period in 2022. The decrease is primarily due to overall cost-saving initiatives.
  • Net loss attributable to common stockholders was $16.9 million, or $0.32 per basic and diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2023, compared to $24.5 million, or $0.51 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 maintain financial resources necessary to continue its clinical studies and fund business operations; Assembly Bio’s ability to initiate and complete clinical studies involving its therapeutic product candidates, including studies contemplated by Assembly Bio’s collaboration agreements, in the currently anticipated timeframes; 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)
    June 30,   December 31,
      2023       2022  
Current assets        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 21,623     $ 52,418  
Marketable securities     38,208       39,192  
Accounts receivable from collaboration     342       944  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets     3,908       4,413  
Total current assets     64,081       96,967  
Property and equipment, net     541       743  
Operating lease right-of-use (ROU) assets     1,623       3,195  
Other assets     332       889  
Total assets   $ 66,577     $ 101,794  
Current liabilities        
Accounts payable   $ 904     $ 2,493  
Accrued research and development expenses     2,037       3,122  
Other accrued expenses     4,188       7,317  
Operating lease liabilities – short-term     1,702       3,364  
Total current liabilities     8,831       16,296  
Deferred revenue     2,733       2,733  
Operating lease liabilities – long-term     64       101  
Total liabilities     11,628       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 June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022; 52,450,731 and 48,894,973 shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022, respectively     52       49  
Additional paid-in capital     815,588       807,938  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (325 )     (803 )
Accumulated deficit     (760,366 )     (724,560 )
Total stockholders’ equity     54,949       82,624  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 66,577     $ 101,794  
(In thousands except for share and per share amounts)
    Three Months Ended June 30,   Six Months Ended June 30,
      2023       2022       2023       2022  
Operating expenses                
Research and development     12,523       17,792       27,070       34,997  
General and administrative     4,965       6,781       9,977       12,738  
Total operating expenses     17,488       24,573       37,047       47,735  
Loss from operations     (17,488 )     (24,573 )     (37,047 )     (47,735 )
Other income                
Interest and other income, net     592       112       1,201       183  
Total other income     592       112       1,201       183  
Net loss   $ (16,896 )   $ (24,461 )   $ (35,846 )   $ (47,552 )
Other comprehensive loss                
Unrealized gain (loss) on marketable securities     188       (90 )     478       (579 )
Comprehensive loss   $ (16,708 )   $ (24,551 )   $ (35,368 )   $ (48,131 )
Net loss per share, basic and diluted   $ (0.32 )   $ (0.51 )   $ (0.69 )   $ (0.99 )
Weighted average common shares outstanding, basic and diluted     52,260,088       48,293,495       51,638,928       48,208,735  


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