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Nautilus Biotechnology Q3 Net Loss Triples; Firm Notches New Research Collaborations

NEW YORK – Nautilus Biotechnology on Tuesday reported a net loss of $14.5 million in the third quarter of 2021, up more than threefold from a net loss of $4.0 million in the year-ago period.

The proteomics startup, which debuted on the Nasdaq in June following a business combination transaction with special purpose acquisition company Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp III, did not post any revenues during the quarter ended Sept. 30.

The Seattle-based company also announced Tuesday that it has signed a research collaboration with an investigator at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to use its platform to investigate proteins and proteoforms of interest. Additionally, it entered a strategic partnership with antibody firm Abcam to gain access to antibodies and antibody development expertise for its platform.

Nautilus has developed an array-based protein analysis platform combining machine learning and iterative rounds of affinity reagents that the company believes will ultimately enable single-molecule measurements at proteome scale.

On a conference call following release of the Q3 results, Nautilus CEO Sujal Patel elaborated on the company's research agreement with the MD Anderson researcher, noting that the project would use its platform to measure the quantity and patterns of post-translational modifications on specific oncology proteins of interest across different settings such as pre- and post-treatment.

"We're excited that this project has the potential to provide new and unique insight on the role of PTMS in oncology research by investigating them at the single-molecule level," he said.

He also noted the company's ongoing research collaborations with pharma firms Genentech and Amgen.

Regarding the company's new partnership with Abcam, Patel said that it would help "de-risk" its platform development and commercialization efforts by partnering "on the development and supply of affinity reagents." He said the agreement would supplement the reagents Nautilus is developing internally.

Nautilus's R&D spending in Q2 more than doubled to $8.2 million from $3.3 million a year ago, while general and administrative costs rose nearly ninefold to $6.3 million from $710,000.

CFO Anna Mowry said on the call that the growth in expenses was driven by increased personnel costs and increases in spending on lab costs and platform development services. She said the company currently has more than 100 employees and plans to double its headcount in 2021.

Mowry added that the company has moved into two new facilities in Seattle and San Carlos, California.

The company ended the quarter with $190.2 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $157.1 million in short-term investments.

In Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq, Nautilus shares were up 6 percent to $5.79.