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Molecular Templates - So Far, So Good

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It has been a banner year so far for Molecular Templates Inc. (MTEM), whose shares gained a whooping 102 percent year-to-date.

Molecular Templates is a clinical-stage oncology company developing proprietary engineered toxin bodies (ETBs), which are differentiated, targeted, biologic therapeutics for cancer.

The Company's lead asset is MT-3724, an immunotoxin that targets the CD20 cell surface antigen present in a variety of lymphomas and leukemias.

A phase II study of MT-3724 as a single agent in relapsed/refractory diffuse
large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients was initiated as recently as March of this year. This multicenter study is designed to enroll up to 100 patients, in a staged manner, who have received at least two standard of care treatment regimens for DLBCL.

An update on this study is expected in the second half of 2019, with final data anticipated in 2020.

Two other phase II studies with MT-3724 combination in DLBCL are underway - one with MT-3724 in combination chemotherapy (GemOx) and the other with MT-3724 in combination with Revlimid. An update on these two studies is also expected in the second half of this year.

The next advanced compound in the pipeline is MT-5111 for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive cancers.

The Company expects to start dosing in a phase I study of MT-5111 in relapsed/refractory patients with HER2-positive solid tumors next quarter (3Q,19). An update on this study is also anticipated in the second half of this year.

In August 2017, Molecular Templates entered into a collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. The collaboration applies Molecular Templates' engineered toxin bodies (ETB) technology platform to potential therapeutic targets provided by Takeda through a joint scientific committee of both companies.

Takeda and Molecular are conducting lead optimization for ETBs against two undisclosed targets selected by Takeda under the collaboration. Should Takeda exercise its option to license ETBs for both targets, Molecular would
receive $25 million and would be eligible to receive up to $547 million in milestone payments and tiered royalties on sales.

The two companies expect to start a phase I multiple myeloma trial for TAK-169 this year.

Recent Quarterly Scorecard

In the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, the Company's net loss attributable to common shareholders shrunk to $6.2 million or $0.17 per share from $8.7 million or $0.32 per share for the same period in 2018.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2019 rose to $7.0 million from $0.5 million for the same period in 2018, thanks to revenues from collaborative research and development agreements with Takeda, and grant revenue from Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas.

The Company ended the first quarter of 2019 with cash and investments of $84 million, which is expected to be sufficient to fund operations into the first half of 2021.

Molecular Templates commenced trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market on August 2, 2017, following its reverse merger with Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Shares of Molecular Templates have hit a low of $3.19 and a high of $8.49 in the last 1 year.

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