Human Genome Sciences Inc., the Rockville genomics and biotechnology firm, reported yesterday a net loss of $8.5 million, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $3 million for its fourth quarter which ended Dec. 31.
By comparison, the company had a net loss of $9.5 million, or 51 cents a share, on revenue of $3 million during the corresponding quarter in 1996.
For the year, HGSI reported a loss of $21.4 million, or 99 cents a share, on revenue of $25.6 million. For 1996, HGSI reported a loss of $7.8 million on revenue of $36.5 million.
The company's revenue largely consists of licensing payments and contracts with several large pharmaceutical companies that pay HGSI for access to its genomics database and rights to develop new drugs and other medical treatments based on HGSI's gene discoveries.
The company attributed the big difference between its year-end results and that of 1996 to nonrecurring licensing payments it received in 1996 from Pioneer Hi-Bred and SmithKline Beecham.
Research costs rose in 1997 to $39.8 million, up from $30.4 million in 1996, HGSI said.
Melvin D. Booth, president and chief operating officer of HGSI, said the year-end results were in line with company expectations, and that the company is financially sound.
In March, HGSI conducted its third public offering of common stock, raising $112 million. It also negotiated an early end to a research relationship it had with the nonprofit Institute for Genomic Research, or TIGR. The move saved HGSI $38 million in funding costs. Booth said 1997 was marked by a number of important milestones for HGSI, namely FDA approval to launch three human clinical trials on new protein-based drugs, and taking part in the formation of a new company, Vasular Genetics Inc, which will focus on developing new treatments for vascular diseases.
HGSI is attempting to shift from a purely genomics research outfit to a developer of bio-pharmaceuticals.
Pub Date: 2/25/98