Guilford loses 3a share in quarter Sales of Gliadel continue to rise

Pharmaceuticals

October 27, 1998|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported yesterday that it had a $6.9 million loss, or 35 cents per share, on revenue of $3.8 million in its third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

In the third quarter of 1997, the Baltimore-based company booked a net profit of $6.3 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $16.6 million. That quarter's earnings were driven by a $15 million one-time payment from Amgen Inc. for signing a licensing agreement that gave it rights to develop and market drug compounds discovered by Guilford that may have potential for treating a wide range of neuro-degenerative diseases.

During the most recent quarter, Amgen, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., paid Guilford another $1 million tied to the agreement. That payment was triggered because Amgen started an animal study of the compound NIL-A. Amgen has since found that it is potent enough to continue studying for possible testing in people, Guilford said.

Dr. Craig R. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Guilford, said the company is hopeful that Amgen soon will move the experimental drug compound into clinical testing.

He said the most recent quarter was also marked by continued growth in sales of its only approved product, Gliadel, which is used to treat a specific type of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, after tumor surgery. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals Inc. has the worldwide rights to market Gliadel, a biodegradable polymer wafer loaded with a chemotherapy drug.

The company reported royalty revenue from sales of Gliadel rose to $717,000 in the quarter, up 45 percent from the $496,000 in sales royalties booked in the year-earlier quarter. Those royalties come only from sales in the United States where the company has marketing approval.

Smith said Gliadel sales have risen for five consecutive quarters.

Stacey Jurchison, a spokeswoman for the company, said Gliadel sales have risen on average 10 percent to 14 percent per quarter.

The company said its third-quarter research and development costs of $9.5 million did not vary from the same 1997 quarter. Administrative costs rose slightly to $2.7 million in the quarter, primarily due to costs associated with filing for patent protection on new drug compound discoveries. In the third quarter of 1997, Guilford booked $2.2 million in administrative charges.

For the nine-month period, Guilford reported a net loss of $21.1 million, or $1.08 a share, on revenue of $9.1 million.

For the corresponding period a year earlier, the company booked a $5.3 million loss, or 31 cents a share, on $21.3 million in revenue.

Guilford shares gained 50 cents, to $15.125, yesterday.

Pub Date: 10/27/98

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