Vaccine developer's loss widens Operating expenses increased by 48%, North American says

March 26, 1998|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

Beltsville-based North American Vaccine Inc. said yesterday that its net loss grew to $43.8 million, or $1.39 per share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 1997, from a net loss of $19.5 million, or 63 cents a share, the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, the vaccine developer reported a net loss of $13.1 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $199,000, or 1 cent a share, posted for the corresponding period a year earlier.

The company attributed the 120 percent increase in the 1997 loss in part to increased operating expenses, which jumped 48 percent to $49.9 million, compared with $33.1 million in 1996.

Those expenses included an $8.3 million increase in research and development expenses, North American said.

Production costs of Certiva, the company's new whooping cough vaccine for children, were also boosted in anticipation of regulatory approval to market the drug in the United States, the company said.

The company had $9.7 million in revenue in 1997, compared with $10.5 million the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, North American reported $612,000 in revenue, compared with $9.8 million for the corresponding period in 1996.

Revenue in 1997 and 1996 primarily came from licensing agreements and product sales of the company's whooping cough vaccine in Europe, the company said.

Shares in North American Vaccine gained 12.5 cents to $16.875 yesterday on the American Stock Exchange.

Pub Date: 3/26/98

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