Verastem, Inc., a Cambridge biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat breast and other cancers by targeting cancer stem cells, reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 that showed a net loss of $6.8 million, nearly three times the net loss of $2.5 million for the same quarter a year earlier.
Research and development expenses for the quarter were $4.7 million compared to $1.7 million for the same period a year earlier. The company said the $3 million increase principally resulted from an increase of $1.2 million for personnel costs, including stock-based compensation of $751,000; an increase of $1.1 million in contract research organization expense; an increase of $365,000 in license fee expense; and an increase of $201,000 for laboratory supplies.
General and administrative expenses for the quarter were $2.2 million compared to $759,000 for the 2011 quarter. The $1.4 million increase principally resulted from an increase of $874,000 for personnel costs, including stock-based compensation of $696,000; an increase of $318,000 in professional fees primarily related to additional legal and accounting fees for being a publicly traded company; an increase of $100,000 in insurance primarily related to being a publicly traded company; and an increase of $99,000 in consulting fees.
Despite the losses, the chief executive of the company, which went public earlier this year, said that Verastem made “significant advances in our therapeutic programs” during the quarter.
In a release, Christoph Westphal said, “the acquisition of the Phase 2-ready focal adhesion kinase inhibitors from Pfizer accelerates this key cancer stem cell-targeting program by approximately 12-18 months, and we are now positioned to initiate a potential registration study in mesothelioma next year.”