Equillium, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQ), a clinical-stage biotechnology company leveraging a deep understanding of immunobiology to develop novel therapeutics to treat severe autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, today announced that its Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $7.5 million of shares of the Company’s common stock.
“The share repurchase program demonstrates our belief in the intrinsic value and potential of Equillium and underscores our commitment to generating long-term value for our stockholders,” said Bruce Steel, chief executive officer at Equillium. “We believe that Equillium stock represents an attractive investment opportunity and this repurchase program does not meaningfully affect our cash runway which remains into 2025 based on our current operating plan. The program gives us the flexibility to opportunistically repurchase shares while maintaining capital expected to fund our clinical development efforts through multiple milestones between now and the end of 2024, including topline data from our study of EQ101 in alopecia areata and, importantly, Ono’s decision regarding exercising its option to acquire itolizumab.”
Repurchases may be made from time to time on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions. The timing of any repurchase, the number of shares repurchased, and the prices paid for the shares under the program will depend on general business and market conditions, the trading price of Equillium’s common stock and corporate and regulatory limitations. The share repurchase program is authorized through the end of 2024 and does not obligate Equillium to acquire any or a specific dollar amount or number of shares and may be extended, modified, or discontinued at any time. The company had approximately 34.6 million shares of common stock outstanding as of August 1, 2023.
Equillium is a clinical-stage biotechnology company leveraging a deep understanding of immunobiology to develop novel therapeutics to treat severe autoimmune and inflammatory disorders with high unmet medical need. The company’s pipeline consists of the following novel first-in-class immunomodulatory assets targeting immuno-inflammatory pathways. EQ101: a tri-specific cytokine inhibitor that selectively targets IL-2, IL-9, and IL-15; currently under evaluation in a Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical study of patients with alopecia areata. EQ102: a bi-specific cytokine inhibitor that selectively targets IL-15 and IL-21; currently under evaluation in a Phase 1 first-in-human clinical study to include healthy volunteers and celiac disease patients. Itolizumab: a monoclonal antibody that targets the CD6-ALCAM signaling pathway which plays a central role in the modulation of effector T cells; currently under evaluation in a Phase 3 clinical study of patients with acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) and a Phase 1b clinical study of patients with lupus/lupus nephritis. Equillium acquired rights to itolizumab through an exclusive partnership with Biocon Limited and has entered a strategic partnership with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for the development and commercialization of itolizumab under an option and asset purchase agreement.
For more information, visit www.equilliumbio.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "believe", “could”, “continue”, "expect", "estimate", “may”, "plan", "outlook", “future” and "project" and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of Equillium’s control, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to statements regarding the intrinsic value and potential of Equillium to generate long-term stockholder value; Equillium’s cash runway; and the ability of Equillium’ s capital to fund clinical development efforts through the end of 2024, including through topline data from Equillium’s study of EQ101 in alopecia areata and other milestones, after giving effect to the share repurchase program. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: risks and uncertainties regarding whether, when and on what terms Equillium repurchases its shares of common stock under the program; changes in market conditions and alternative uses of Equillium’s capital, including having to use cash in ways or on timing other than expected; the sufficiency of Equillium’s capital to fund certain clinical development efforts and whether anticipated milestones are able to be achieved; whether Equillium is able to grow its business and increase stockholder value over time; and risks related to Ono’s decision to exercise its option, if ever, to purchase itolizumab or terminate the asset purchase agreement. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully under the caption "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Equillium's filings and reports, which may be accessed for free by visiting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov and on Equillium’s website under the heading “Investors.” Investors should take such risks into account and should not rely on forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Equillium undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made, except as required by law.
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