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Gubra posts 19% CRO revenue growth in Q1 2023. Full-year 2023 outlook maintained.

Gubra, specialised in pre-clinical contract research services (CRO) and peptide-based drug discovery within metabolic and fibrotic diseases, today reported 19% revenue growth in the CRO business segment in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022. Growth was seen across different disease categories and most notably within the liver disease NASH. Adjusted EBIT-margin for the CRO segment was 29% in Q1-2023.

Henrik Blou, CEO of Gubra said:

“We are off to a strong start of 2023 with a 19% revenue growth and an adjusted EBIT-margin in the CRO segment of 29%. We are pleased to see this solid growth, and it speaks to the robustness of our CRO business where several key disease areas contributed to the growth in the first quarter. Our Discovery & Partnership business segment also performed well and in line with expectations, including widening the capabilities of our unique streaMLine drug discovery platform. With proceeds from our IPO in March, and a strategy well in place to leverage on our hybrid business model combining the steady cash flow from our CRO business with early phase drug discovery, we have ample room for continued growth.”

Key financial highlights for Q1 2023

Key ratio CRO segment D&P segment Group
DKK million Q1-2023 Q1-2022 Q1-2023 Q1-2022 Q1-2023 Q1-2022
Revenue 38.7 32.5 11.2 18.2 49.9 50.8
Revenue growth 19% n/a -39% n/a -4% n/a
EBIT 4.3 3.2 -23.3 -2.8 -19.2 -0.9
Adjusted EBIT* 11.3 9.6 -17.7 2.0 -6.3 11.7
Adjusted EBIT-margin* 29% 30% -158% 11% -13% 23%
Total costs adjusted (cost of sales and OPEX)* -27.5 -22.9 -29.0 -16.2 -56.6 -39.1
Amylin costs n/a n/a -8.4 0.0 -8.4 0.0
Total costs adjusted less costs for Amylin* -27.5 -22.9 -20.7 -16.2 -48.2 -39.1

* Adjusted for special items, which comprise IPO costs, cost recognition of share based incentive programs (non-cash impact) and cost related to Gubra Green.

CRO segment
In Q1 2023, Gubra’s CRO business grew across disease categories, most notably the liver disease NASH, resulting in a 19% revenue increase year-over-year. The NASH landscape saw positive late-stage clinical data in Q4 2022 thereby rejuvenating the interest in the area and positively affecting the demand for pre-clinical NASH models. The kidney disease category also experienced substantial growth in Q1, 2023 compared to 2022. During the past years, Gubra has developed a large and mature kidney model catalogue, and now we are experiencing traction from both big pharma and small biotech. Gubra’s lung (IPF) models, which are the newest added disease category, is also experiencing considerable interest from the market.

The adjusted EBIT-margin in the CRO segment was 29% in Q1 2023 (FY-2023 outlook of 25%).

Discovery & Partnership segment
In the Discovery & Partnership segment, Gubra has a stronghold in the development of linear hormone like peptide drugs particularly within the metabolic disease area. The proprietary streaMLine drug discovery platform delivers peptides with optimized drug like properties such as long half-life and efficacy with strong intellectual property rights. In Q1 2023 the platform has been expanded to be used for rapid development of cyclic peptide drug candidates, and progress is also being made for handling even more complex peptides such as macrocyclic peptides, which are believed to have a bright future within peptide drug discovery. This expansion into more complex peptide structures also open up for new classes of drug targets as well as disease areas.

Gubra´s most advanced own discovery project – the Amylin peptide for obesity – is progressing according to plans. The preclinical tox and the safety pharmacology studies have completed the in-life phase and will be concluded in Q2-2023. The Clinical Trial Application (CTA) is expected to be submitted in Q3-2023 and it is anticipated that the first patient in the Phase 1a study (single ascending dose study, SAD) will be dosed end of 2023.

Adjusted EBIT in the Discovery & Partnership segment was DKK -18 million in line with expectations. Total costs (cost of sales and operating expenses) excluding the Amylin pipeline asset and special items was DKK 20.7 million in Q1 2023 (FY-2023 outlook of around DKK 85-95 million).

Outlook for 2023 (unchanged)

Key ratio Outlook for 2023
CRO Segment  
Organic revenue growth 10% vs. 2022
EBIT-margin excl. special items Around 25%
Discovery & Partnership Segment  
Number of new partnerships 1-2 new partnerships
Total costs (cost of sales and operating costs) excluding special Items DKK 105-110 million
Total costs excluding the Amylin Pipeline Asset and special Items DKK 85-95 million

The outlook for 2023 is based on the same assumptions as detailed in Gubra’s IPO prospectus. Please refer to the IPO prospectus and the section Consolidated prospective financial information for the financial year ending 31 December 2023 for a detailed description of the assumptions for the outlook.

Conference call
A presentation for analysts and investors will be held today 11 May at 10:00am CET. The event will be hosted by the company’s CEO Henrik Blou, CSO Niels Vrang and CFO Kristian Borbos. The presentation will be held in English.

To participate in the telephone conference, please use the dial-in details shown below:
DK: +45 3274 0710
UK: +44 20 3481 4247
When dialling-in, please state the name of the call “Gubra Q1-2023 earnings release” or the conference ID: 3734401.

The presentation can also be followed live via the link:

It will also be possible to take part of the audiocast afterwards at the same abovementioned link.

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