ST. HELIER, Jersey–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Novocure (NASDAQ: NVCR) today provided an update on its response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and an initial evaluation of the impact the pandemic may have on Novocure’s general business operations and clinical trials. The company is taking actions to protect the Novocure community around the world while continuing to deliver therapy to patients as this unprecedented situation evolves.
“COVID-19 does not lessen the need for better patient outcomes in the aggressive cancers we treat,” said William Doyle, Novocure’s Executive Chairman. “Although our industry is operating in an unprecedented time with substantial uncertainty, Novocure remains as focused as ever on delivering our therapy to the patients who rely on us and we believe the fundamental prospects for our business remain unchanged.”
“Our strong balance sheet allows us to maintain investments in innovation, and we continue to advance commercial and development priorities as we adapt to the realities of COVID-19,” Mr. Doyle said. “We will provide further updates on our first quarter earnings call in late April.”
Patient support and customer engagement
The health and safety of patients, caregivers and colleagues are Novocure’s highest priorities. Novocure’s field-based patient support teams are committed to ensuring that patients have timely access to treatment and continue to conduct in-person patient visits when possible and leverage technology to conduct new patient starts and provide ongoing patient support visits, virtually. Device Support Specialists are trained to practice appropriate patient interaction and hand hygiene techniques and use full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when providing in-person patient support. The company’s award-winning nCompass™ team continues to provide on-call phone and email support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Novocure’s customer engagement teams remain focused and in execution mode. The company is respecting any restrictions on external visitors at the cancer centers, hospitals and research institutions it serves and is utilizing telephone and web-based technologies to engage healthcare professionals and to enable information sharing. Novocure has cancelled patient ambassador travel and is using virtual means to ensure patients can benefit from patient ambassador support.
Manufacturing and supply chain
Novocure’s global operations centers remain open and the company is taking great care to prioritize continuity of support to patients and the health and safety of its colleagues. Novocure is actively monitoring the various components of its global supply chain to ensure it maintains adequate inventories of all key products. At this time, there is no material impact to Novocure’s supply chain. The company will continue to leverage its well-established global network and to collaborate with its partners in an effort to ensure manufacturing capabilities can meet the needs of patients well into the future.
Novocure is continuing to treat current clinical trial patients and enroll new patients at existing clinical trial sites in its six ongoing clinical trials. Notwithstanding these efforts, COVID-19 related challenges are leading to delays in enrollment. Novocure is evaluating the initiation of new clinical trial sites using a risk-based framework in accordance with local regulations and site policies, but clinical trial site expansion has been materially delayed as clinical sites devote significant resources to COVID-19.
Generally, COVID-19-related effects are anticipated to shift the timing of enrollment and completion of clinical studies by multiple quarters. Timing shifts will likely vary by clinical trial. Novocure plans to provide a detailed update on its clinical development programs during its first quarter 2020 conference call.
Novocure is following the guidance of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local health authorities and is working to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through work-at-home policies for employees who are not directly involved in operations or patient support. The company has implemented staggered schedules where appropriate and is committed to maintaining flexibility for its colleagues as they care for their health and their families.
First quarter 2020 financial results
Novocure will report financial results for the first quarter 2020 on Thursday, April 30, 2020, before the U.S. financial markets open. Novocure’s management will host a conference call and webcast to discuss its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2020, at 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 30, 2020. Analysts and investors can participate in the conference call by dialing 855-442-6895 for domestic callers and 509-960-9037 for international callers, using the conference ID 4193569.
The webcast and earnings slides presented during the webcast can be accessed live from the Investor Relations page of Novocure’s website, www.novocure.com/investor-relations, and will be available for at least 14 days following the call. Novocure has used, and intends to continue to use, its investor relations website, as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.
Novocure is a global oncology company working to extend survival in some of the most aggressive forms of cancer through the development and commercialization of its innovative therapy, Tumor Treating Fields. Novocure’s commercialized products are approved in certain countries for the treatment of adult patients with glioblastoma and in the U.S. for the treatment of adult patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Novocure has ongoing or completed clinical trials investigating Tumor Treating Fields in brain metastases, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer and gastric cancer.
Headquartered in Jersey, Novocure has U.S. operations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Malvern, Pennsylvania and New York City. Additionally, the company has offices in Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit www.novocure.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/novocure.
In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide Novocure’s current expectations or forecasts of future events. These may include statements regarding anticipated scientific progress on its research programs, clinical trial progress, development of potential products, interpretation of clinical results, prospects for regulatory approval, manufacturing development and capabilities, market prospects for its products, coverage, collections from third-party payers and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts. You may identify some of these forward-looking statements by the use of words in the statements such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” or other words and terms of similar meaning. Novocure’s performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions as well as issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and other more specific risks and uncertainties facing Novocure such as those set forth in its Report on Form 10-K filed on February 27, 2020, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Therefore, you should not rely on any such factors or forward-looking statements. Furthermore, Novocure does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statement, except as required by law. Any forward-looking statements herein speak only as of the date hereof. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits this discussion.