Dyadic International, Inc.

Q1 2024 Earnings Conference Call


spk04: Ladies and gentlemen, good evening and welcome to Dyadic International's Q1 2024 conference call. Currently, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following the management's prepared remarks, there will be a brief question and answer session. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded today, May 14th, 2024. I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Ping Rossen, Dyadic's Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead.
spk05: Thank you. Good evening and welcome everyone to Dyadic International's Q1 2024 conference call. I hope you have had the opportunity to review Dyadic's press release on non-financial results for the quarter-ended March 31st, 2024. You may access our release and form a 10-day review under the Investors section of the company's website at dyadic.com. On today's call, our President and CEO Mark Emuffarpe and our Chief Operating Officer Joe Hazelton will give a review of our 2024 business and corporate highlights, including a brief summary of our recent research and business development efforts. I will follow with a review of our financial results in more detail. We will then hold a brief Q&A session. At this time, I would like to inform you that certain commentary made in this conference call may be considered forward-looking statements, which involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause Dyadic's actual results, performance, scientific or otherwise, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Dyadic expressly disclaims any duty to provide updates to its forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Participants are directed to the risk factors set forth in Dyadic's reports filed with the SEC. It is now my pleasure to pass the call to our CEO, Mark Emuffarpe. Mark?
spk01: Thank you, Ping. Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining Dyadic's Q1 2024 conference call. A little over five weeks ago on our 2023 year-end conference call, I highlighted how Dyadic is uniquely positioned to rapidly capitalize on the present opportunities and those on the horizon. Over the next two years, we anticipate reaching multiple revenue streams and other inflection points through fully funded collaborations and the company's pipeline products to enhance shareholder value. We continue building upon the momentum witnessed in 2023, and we have further accelerated our progress. The acclaim and acknowledgement of our C1 technology for its speed, productivity and low cost persists both domestically and globally, receiving commendations from academia, industry, government bodies and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, our depth of this expression platform has exceeded our initial expectations. Despite launching a little over a year ago, we are beginning to gain substantial traction in generating revenue in both the alternative protein and bioindustrial sectors. In the first quarter, we successfully closed a $6 million convertible note financing without issuing any warrants, and I would again like to extend our gratitude to long-term shareholders for their steadfast support as these funds will fuel the acceleration of our goal to introduce revenue generating products through targeting both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical sectors. To further support our growth imperatives, in March we announced changes in leadership roles both at the board level and management team. Patrick Lucey has assumed the role of chairman of Dyadx Board of Directors, and Joe Hazelton has expanded his responsibilities as our chief operating officer. With strengthened financial resources, scientific prowess and bolstered leadership, we are well positioned to execute our strategic business objectives. We will continue to leverage our microbial protein production platforms, B1 and DAPLBIS, to craft antigens, antibodies, enzymes and other recombinant proteins pivotal to each of the sectors we are focused on, human health, animal health and alternative proteins. These efforts are anticipated to unlock the monetization avenues significantly enhancing shareholder value for Dyadx and our partners, spanning both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical domains. With regard to the human health sector, I cannot overstate the significance of the positive outcomes from our Phase 1 human study which has had an embolstering academia, industry and government attention towards Dyadx and our C1 expression platform. Today we announced that the final clinical study report CSR has been issued for a Phase 1 clinical trial demonstrating safety and antibody response for DY100, a recombinant protein receptor-bonding domain, RVD booster vaccine candidate for protection against COVID-19 infection. This was the final step in the journey to the first in-human study for C1-produced protein. It not only achieved its primary endpoint of safety and reactogenicity but also produced a strong immune response. Since the announcement of these results, heightened interest from industry partners, including two top 10 pharmaceutical firms, has spurred the start of over 12 fully funded vaccine and antibody projects, five of which are fully funded by two of the 10 pharmaceutical companies. These projects span various disease areas, exemplified by our strategic partnership with Rabian BV, a Dutch innovative SME founded by entrepreneurs and vaccine scientists. Rabian secured 1.7 million euros in funding from Eurostars for the Avatar project, aiming to leverage its virology expertise to develop a rabies vaccine utilizing Dyadx C1 protein production platform. Additionally, the Israel Institute for Biological Research, IIBR, is harnessing Dyadx microbial platform expertise in conjunction with their own capabilities in antibodies and antigen discovery to develop and manufacture treatments and vaccines for emerging diseases and potential bio threats for out-licensing opportunities. In the realm of infectious diseases, our recombinant vaccine capability continues to attract growing interest. We are engaged in expanded research collaborations with the top five pharmaceutical company to develop a number of additional antigens preventing and treating various infectious diseases. Furthermore, our research collaboration to develop and test vaccine antigens for influenza A and other infectious diseases using the C1 and other platforms with the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, VIC, at Massachusetts General Hospital, which received over $5 million in funding from the DOD or the Department of Defense is ongoing, showing strong initial yield results with the C1 platform. Turning our focus to therapeutic proteins, particularly monoclonal antibodies or MAPs, we see significant potential in utilizing the C1 production system for the production of antibodies targeting infectious and other diseases. In the first quarter, we announced the publication of a manuscript in the esteemed peer-reviewed journal, Nature Communications, detailing preclinical studies conducted on a monoclonal antibody produced using the C1 system, utilizing non-human primates and hamsters as models. In the non-human primate study, a C1 produced COVID-19 monoclonal antibody previously shown to possess broad neutralization and protection against various variants, including Omicron, BA1, and BA2, as well as the earlier variants of concern in hamsters, underwent dosing. Findings from the challenge study involving the -CoV-2 Delta variant and non-human primates indicated promisingly high levels of protection. This marks the first instance of a C1 produced monoclonal antibody being employed in the non-human primate study, affirming both the safety and efficacy of C1 produced antibodies for addressing infectious diseases. These recent findings regarding the safety and efficacy of monoclonal antibodies produced using C1 technology are significant in accelerating research and this is particularly noteworthy, taken we previously reported data that C1 produced Mavs are comparable in efficacy and safety to those produced using traditional Cho cells or Chinese hamster ovary cells. In the first quarter, Diatik entered into a collaboration with another top 10 pharmaceutical company to develop an infectious disease monoclonal antibody and vaccine antigen using our C1 technology. This marks a significant step forward in this area. The fact that this collaboration is fully funded underscores the confidence and the potential of the C1 technology for reducing effective treatments and vaccines against infectious and other diseases. Overall, these developments suggest a promising future for the C1 technology in the field of infectious disease research and development, potentially leading to effective treatments and vaccines and antibodies against a variety of pathogens. In the animal health sector, we continue to extend and expand our presence in vaccines and therapeutic proteins with a focus on zoonotic infection diseases with the potential for spill over which refers to the transmission of a pathogen that typically infects one species and is transferred to another to other animals and humans. One example is the H5N1 pathogen or bird flu spillover threat which continues to escalate. H5N1 is now being found in multiple animal species including dairy cows, companion animals, and has surfaced in a few occasions humans. We are experiencing the worst outbreak of H5N1 since 2015. Over 50 million chickens died and in 2022 over 90 million chickens have died in 48 states with over an estimated 50 million dead this year mostly from being slaughtered to control the spread but some from the deadly virus itself. This kind of transmission can pose significant health risk especially if the new immunity against the pathogen. Dianic reports that Verovax has completed initial preclinical testing of the potential H5N1 bird flu ferritin nanoparticle vaccine candidate showing promising results in producing a strong immune response in animal models. The company has also estimated the potential production of up to 300 million doses that can be manufactured and purified in as little as two weeks using one 15,000 liter microbial bioreactor using dose levels based on the preclinical dosing of 25 to 50 micrograms. Dianic has taken a proactive approach to tackle the threat of a bird flu outbreak in collaboration with Verovax. We are combining the strengths of the C1 platform to rapidly produce large amounts of low cost H5N1 vaccine antigens with Verovax is highly efficient and effective adjuvant to develop an efficacious bird flu vaccine candidate that may offer significant advantages in terms of scalability, speed, and efficacy. The C1 produced adjuvanted recombinant ferritin nanoparticle H5N1 bird flu human vaccine candidate demonstrated a strong immune response in animal studies. Recently, Verovax generated additional data that indicates that the C1 produced adjuvanted recombinant ferritin nanoparticle H5N1 bird flu human vaccine candidate also has the potential to induce a strong immune response against all three of the circulating H5N1 viruses, including Texas, to provide protection for humans and cattle. We are pleased with the progress of the C1 platform in both the human and animal health sectors. As part of that effort, it's important to continue for us to invest in our platforms to meet regulatory expectations. As part of those efforts, we previously engaged Cygnus Technologies to co-develop a C1 host cell protein HCP ELISA kit. These kits are essential for detecting and quantifying contaminating proteins derived from the host strain during manufacturing to ensure product purity and quality is achieved. This is a standard test required for all protein production platforms. We are pleased that the C1 HCP ELISA kits are now available to dyadic and Cygnus customers through Cygnus's online ordering system. I will now turn the call over to our Chief Operating Officer, Joe Hazelton, to provide an update on the alternative protein sector. Joe?
spk02: Thank you, Mark. Dyadic remains truly excited about the uses of its microbial platforms in the alternative protein sector. We believe this sector offers significant promise in terms of high value markets and nearer term revenue. Our gene expression and protein production platforms including the recently launched Apibis are tailored to facilitate rapid protein production proof of concept and large scale manufacturing of enzymes, proteins, metabolites, and other biological products. These products span the full spectrum of production grades from research to food grade and ultimately pharmaceutical grade materials. Their applications are diverse and encompass diagnostics, research, nutrition, health, and wellness reflecting the increasing demand in these areas. Diving deeper into our strategic plans to boost near term revenue, we remain focused and confident that identifying and producing high value, high volume recombinant targets that can be rapidly and efficiently commercialized provides the best near term revenue potential. Recombinant serum albumin serves as the prime illustration of our focus on valuable recombinant products offering diverse commercialization prospects across various market segments in the approximately $6 billion serum albumin market. Pharmaceutical grade serum albumin holds potential as a disease treatment and is integral to vaccine development. Also it can serve as a carrier protein for therapeutics and a standard reagent for research and development. Recent completion of certificates of analysis for our recombinant human and bovine albumin affirms their analytical equivalence to currently commercialized research grade products. Moreover, we're exploring recombinant bovine albumin application in cell culture media for cultured meat production. We're now seeing this strategy creating value as evidenced by the recent term sheet we've executed with a global albumin manufacturer and distributor to license, develop, and commercialize DIAVX recombinant serum albumin products. This strategic partnership will potentially enable our recombinant albumin products to enter the market within approximately 12 months. We hope to be able to share more information in the very near future on this important collaboration. Expanding our presence in cell culture media, we've also partnered with Turkish firm Biftec Incorporated, leveraging their patent pending cost reducing animal free growth medium to expand into the cell culture media sector and earn a share of net sales from Biftec's supplement. Additionally, DIAVX initial production of recombinant transferrin using its microbial platform presents a new opportunity in the alternative protein sector. Outside of recombinant cell culture products, we believe recombinant non-animal dairy products offer that at the potential for more rapid commercialization opportunities. The global animal free dairy products market was valued at over $26 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach more than $75 billion by 2032. Today's animal free dairy products are crafted through precision microbial fermentation technology, a market driven by evolving consumer preferences and concerns over health issues associated with traditional cow's milk, such as lactose intolerance and allergies. Despite the current higher cost of animal free dairy, this obstacle lines with our expertise in producing large quantities of cost effective recombinant proteins using our microbial expression platforms. Our focus on this sector has been validated by our 2023 commercial agreement to utilize our DAPBIS platform for developing and commercializing non-animal dairy enzymes for food production that included upfront payments, milestones, and royalties. We're also anticipating success fees from this collaboration in the first half of 2024. In efforts to expand our animal free dairy portfolio, we have developed and initiated sampling of a recombinant non-animal alpha lactoalbumin protein while also starting development of food grade beta lactoglobulin and lactoferrin with expected sampling later this year. We're engaged in several discussions with potential partners, boosting our confidence in the non-animal dairy segments revenue potential in 2024 and beyond. We're further expanding our potential pipeline through the development of several bio industrial grade enzymes that have potential for use in multiple industries such as nutrition, biogas, biofuels, and biorefining. In particular, our development and commercialization partner Firmbox, we have developed a cellulosic enzyme for the biofuel industry that is currently being tested by potential customers. In addition, Dyadic has developed three additional enzymes to target the pulp and paper industry. However, these enzymes may have applications in the biogas and biofuels industries as well. By increasing the volume of internal pipeline products and external partnerships with non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical applications, we believe we can accelerate more consistent revenue generation in the coming year that is not strictly reliant on platform licensing. With the funding secured in the first quarter and the recent organizational adjustments, Dyadic is poised for a new phase of growth. While the future looks promising, we must remain disciplined in how we assess product opportunities from a financial perspective and command full value for the contribution of the Dyadic technology and expertise. There's still work ahead to capitalize on the opportunities before us and drive near-term revenue growth across our three core sectors. With that, I'd like to turn the call over to our CFO, Pig Rossen, to discuss our financials. Peng?
spk05: Thank you, Joe. I will now go over our key financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2024 in more detail. You can find additional information in our earnings, price release, and form 10Q, which we filed earlier today. Research and development revenue and the license revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2024, decreased to approximately $335,000 compared to $934,000 for the same period a year ago. The decrease in research and development revenue was due to the winding down of several large research collaborations conducted in 2023. For the first quarter of 2024, the company's revenue was generated from 10 collaborations compared to seven collaborations in the same period a year ago. We are experiencing an increasing number of collaborations with smaller dollar amounts for individual contracts. Cost of research and development revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2024, decreased to approximately $144,000 compared to $727,000 for the same period a year ago. The decrease was due to the same reason for the revenue mentioned earlier. R&D expenses for the quarter of 2024 decreased by .5% to approximately $523,000 compared to $811,000 for the same period a year ago. The decrease reflected the winding down of activities related to the company's phase one clinical trial of DYA-100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates and a decrease in the amount of internal research projects. GNA expenses for the first quarter of 2024 increased to approximately ,789,000 compared to ,480,000 for the same period a year ago. The increase was due to increases in business development and investor relations expenses of $138,000 audit fees of $99,000, management incentives of $59,000 and other increases offset by decreases in insurance expenses and the legal expenses. Loss from operations for the quarter of 2024 slightly increased to ,126,000 for the quarter of 2024 was approximately $2 million or $0.07 per share compared to a net loss of $956,000 or $0.03 per share for the same period a year ago. The increase in net loss was due to the sale of the company's equity interest in AlphaZone ILC for $989,000 in 2023. As we announced previously on March 8, 2024, the company issued an aggregate principal amount of $6 million of 8% senior secured convertible promising notes due March 8, 2027 in the private placement. The convertible notes have a conversion price of $1.79 with no warrants. The purchasers of the convertible notes include immediate family members and family trusts related to Mark Imavar, our president and CEO, the Francisco Trust and the existing quarter of more than 5% of the company's outstanding common stock. As of March 31, 2024, we have cash and investment of $7.3 million as of December 31, 2023. We believe we are well positioned financially to support our near-term revenue growth and accelerate our strategic objectives of commercialization opportunities for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical applications. With that, I will now ask the operator to begin our Q&A session. Joe Hazelton will join Mark and I to answer your questions. Each caller will be allowed one question and one follow-up question to provide all callers an opportunity to participate. If time permits, the operator will allow additional questions from those who have already spoken. Operator.
spk04: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, we will now be conducting a question and answer session. If you would like to ask a question, please press star and 1 on your telephone keypad. A confirmation tone will indicate your line is in the question queue. You may press star and 2 if you would like to remove your question from the queue. For participants using speaker equipment, it may be necessary to pick up your handset before pressing the star keys. Ladies and gentlemen, we will wait for a moment while we poll for questions. Our first question is from the line of John Van Der Mosten with Zax. Please go ahead.
spk03: Great. Thank you and good afternoon, Mark, Joe and Ping. I thought I'd start out with a question on the Serum Human Bovine Albumin projects and try to find out what some of the, milestones you have to achieve before you can get to sales. I think Mark, you mentioned that that's something that you see or Joe, you mentioned that that's something that's about 12 months out. What do you need to get done? Especially on the regulatory side, if anything, to have those first sales.
spk01: Yeah, Joe, you can go ahead and answer that.
spk02: Yep, no problem. John, thanks for the question. And really the main obstacle right now is scale up. We need to write. We've done the first analytical testing that is shown and we have the certificate of analysis that show we are equivalent to the reference compound and at least the research and diagnostic segment. So obviously for pharmaceutical grade segments, yes, that's a longer time horizon. But in order for us to meet the initial first 12 months for research and diagnostic grade material, it's really about scale up and then obviously still finishing and getting it onto the market. And that's where our collaboration partner, I believe, will significantly increase our ability to accelerate that opportunity.
spk03: Okay, and also want to understand the financial structure of that. I guess, will there be any kind of milestone amount that is paid upon first sale and then after that, is there a royalty or how is that structured when that starts generating revenue for you?
spk02: You
spk01: want to
spk02: handle that one?
spk01: Well, I think you've been dealing with that intimately. So why don't you add what you have and then I can add some color to it if I need to.
spk02: Sure, so obviously we will work towards initial milestone payments for obviously the access to the technology and the production strain. But then obviously we're going to look towards more of a potential revenue share on the back end as well. So we can increase our opportunity to grow as we're able to enter different market segments, whether it be excipient grade, whether it be cell culture media. So we're looking at different financial models and optics. But yes, milestones and royalties and things of that nature are obviously part of the discussion.
spk01: Okay, and just to add a little color, John, to that, we do expect in the term sheet we have executed an upfront payment along with potential milestones and royalties. And I think the important thing here is we've developed a very productive upstream production over the albumin, both bovine and human serum albumin. And the term sheet partner that we're working with that we hope to finalize an agreement with in the not too distant future has a very, very low cost downstream processing capabilities. So when you marry high volume, low cost upstream with high volume, low cost downstream, and the fact that they have access to the marketplace, it's a great marriage and a great opportunity for both companies to exploit each other's strengths. So I think you need to keep in mind that when we're targeting these new product opportunities, we're targeting partners that can distribute, commercialize and market these products through existing channels.
spk03: Got it. All right, I'll get back in line for some questions after some of the people ask. Thank
spk04: you. Ladies and gentlemen, a reminder, if you wish to ask a question, please press star and one. We have a follow up question from John Van Damosten with SACS. Please go ahead.
spk03: All right, thanks. I also want to ask about the CSR for D. Y. A. one hundred and kind of what the, what regulatory steps you might be doing next with that. I mean, I don't know. I mean, I think Mark, you had indicated that you're not going to pursue that exact vaccine anymore because it doesn't make sense. But there may be other things that you can do with that may be on the regulatory side in terms of interacting with the FDA and planning something else. Just wanted to hear what your plans are there, especially with regulatory focus in mind.
spk01: Yeah, so we've been in contact with certain members of the FDA, including Peter Marks, the head of the FDA on several occasions. So we do not plan on moving D. Y. one hundred forward to cover nineteen booster vaccine. The market acceptance of booster vaccine seems to be short and we have even better vaccines that we've developed since then for covid. So if we move forward with anything, it'll be with a better performing, more higher efficacy, potentially longer lasting and maybe a universal potential vaccine. But that won't be funded by us to move that forward. So from a regulatory perspective, you know, the finish of the phase one now has shown top line results and final results of safety, tolerability and immune response, both in high and low dose. It's driven excitement and it's driven up markets and it's driven up access to these one, if not too big farmer companies. We're working with two of the top ten one we'd already started working with. And I think both of them have come in based on the results that they've seen and they've heard about from that. So from a regulatory perspective, we hope to potentially move our bird flu vaccine that we've developed with Verovax. And not only works in humans, as we mentioned, but recently Verovax has showed it works on the three different variants of viruses that are floating around, including the one in the cattle. So we think that that potential vaccine not only can we mass produce it at low cost rapidly and we've already developed the strain in the cell line. So we're four to six months ahead. We can address that challenge and I think the opportunity both from an animal health and the human health perspective. So there you'd have the USDA with the animal health side and the FDA and EMA and other regulatory agencies around the world. If we can get the funding and partnership where we can move that forward in an expedient manner. So that would bring another product forward. And then again, we're working with 12 different projects. Some of them being antigen vaccines with the two top 10 pharmaceutical companies. I think there's five projects or six projects. I think five new ones, one from the past. And one or more of those may move into the regulatory EMA or FDA because they would hopefully potentially take one or more of those into the clinic. And then in the monoclonal antibody space, we have three antibodies that we've produced already and we're working on another one that we believe had the potential also to go into regulatory and potentially eyeballs. I believe BARDA will have on that and the HHS and the U.S. government. So I think they're aware of what these people are doing with our technology to drive the cost down. And I can tell you from conversations that we've had with BARDA and with these companies and others that the BARDA and the U.S. government is looking to reduce the cost and increase the yield of antibodies. They see that as a major problem. And I think we have the most advanced solution, but see one to produce antibodies faster and larger amounts and lower costs to satisfy gaping holes and infectious and other diseases that the U.S.
spk03: Thanks, Mark.
spk04: Thank you. As there are no further questions, I will now turn the call over to DIADIC's CEO, Mr. Emil Farb for closing comments.
spk01: Thank you. The company remains dedicated to driving near term revenue and growth through innovation and commercialization efforts, expanding the use of the C1 and Dapidivis platforms for the production of proteins in our three core sectors. Human health, animal health and alternative proteins. Once again, I cannot overstate how exciting this time is in DIADIC's history. We are uniquely positioned to rapidly capitalize on the present opportunities and those on the horizon. Thank you for joining us in today's first quarter 2004 or 2024 conference call. We look forward to keeping you informed about our progress in commercial and scientific endeavors during our next call. Please stay tuned for additional updates from us.
spk04: Thank you. The conference of DIADIC International has now concluded. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect your line.

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