ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) – Human Genome Sciences Inc. reported a larger first-quarter loss as it booked bigger costs due to licensing an experimental cancer drug and launching its newly-approved lupus drug Benlysta.
The Food and Drug Administration approved marketing of Benlysta on March 9, and Human Genome Sciences said patients are now being treated with the drug. On March 16, the company licensed a cancer drug candidate from FivePrime Therapeutics. It agreed to pay FivePrime $50 million upfront for the product, which is intended to treat solid tumors and is now designated HGS1036. Human Genome Sciences now has the right to develop and sell the drug in the U.S., European Union, and Canada.
Human Genome Science said its research and development costs rose 47 percent to $84.5 million. Its selling, general and administrative costs nearly doubled to $35.1 million from $18.3 million.
The company posted a loss of $131 million, or 69 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2011. A year ago Human Genome Sciences lost $47.9 million, or 26 cents per share. Its revenue fell 43 percent to $26.6 million from $46.5 million.
Analysts expected a smaller loss of 51 cents per share and $20.5 million in revenue, according to FactSet.
A year ago, the company reported $27.6 million in revenue from a partnership with Novartis AG. The companies were developing an experimental hepatitis C drug called Zalbin, but they ended development in October after deciding the FDA would probably not approve the drug. Sales of Human Genome Sciences’ inhaled anthrax treatment ABthrax rose to $14.1 million from $13.5 million. The company makes ABthrax and delivers it to the Strategic National Stockpile for emergency use.
Human Genome Sciences’ manufacturing and development service revenue tripled to $12.3 million from $4.1 million.
The company is marketing Benlysta through a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline PLC, a British drugmaker. The companies expect European Union regulators to make a decision on Benlysta in the second half of 2011.
Date: April 28, 2011
Source: Associated Press