Biotech company JW Therapeutics reported on Tuesday its net loss for the first half of 2023 narrowed 11.4% year-on-year to 380 million yuan.

The latest: Biotech company JW (Cayman) Therapeutics Co. Ltd. (2126.HK) reported on Tuesday its net loss for the first half of 2023 narrowed 11.4% year-on-year to 380 million yuan ($52.1 million).

Looking up: Streamlining of the company’s workforce commercializing its lymphoma drug Carteyva helped to reduce employee benefit expenses, which helped to lower overall selling expenses by 28.7% to 60.17 million yuan.

Take Note: The company’s R&D expenditure increased by 10.5% to 217 million yuan due to an increase in depreciation and amortization costs related to its new vector manufacturing facility in Suzhou that came onstream in the second half of 2022. The increase also owed to higher R&D materials and testing fees for pre-clinical research activities and clinical trials.

Digging Deeper: JW Therapeutics is a Sino-U.S. joint venture founded in 2016 by Juno Therapeutics, a unit of global giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY.US), and the Hong Kong- and Shanghai-listed WuXi AppTec (2359.HK; 603259.SH). The company specializes in personalized cancer treatments known as chimeric antigen receptor therapeutics (CAR-T), which enhance a patient’s own immune defenses to attack tumor cells. Its first drug, Carteyva, was approved for sale in China in 2021. But sales have been slow to take off due to high production costs and lack of the drug’s inclusion in China’s national health insurance plan. As a result, the company generated only 94 prescriptions of Carteyva in the first half of this year.

Market Reaction: JW Therapeutics’ shares fell on Wednesday and closed down 4.5% at HK$2.35 by the midday break. The stock now trades near the lower end of its 52-week range.

Translation by A. Au

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