Better results at 4 Md. biotechs

Only Digene has profit

the rest narrowed losses

November 07, 2003|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFF

Four Maryland biotechnology companies reported yesterday improved financial performances for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, although only one of them recorded a profit.

Digene Corp. of Gaithersburg posted results for its fiscal first quarter, while third-quarter results were reported by United Therapeutics Corp. of Silver Spring, EntreMed Inc. of Rockville and Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Baltimore.

Digene, the only company to report a profit, said its first-quarter revenue and net income were records.

Digene said it had a profit of $655,000 for the three months that ended Sept. 30, a reversal from a net loss of $2.6 million it reported during the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share were 3 cents on a fully diluted basis compared with a net loss of 14 cents per share a year earlier.

Total revenue was $19.6 million, up 55 percent from the $12.6 million reported for last year's fiscal first quarter, according to the company.

Most of the gain resulted from surging revenue for Digene's human papillomavirus cervical cancer screening test.

United Therapeutics

United Therapeutics narrowed its loss to $1.3 million, a substantial drop from the loss of $12.2 million in the third quarter last year. On a per share basis the loss amounted to 6 cents compared with a loss of 58 cents last year.

Revenue nearly tripled, reaching $15 million this year, compared with $5.1 million during in the quarter last year, according to United Therapeutics.

The company said sales have grown strongly because of the growing number of patients receiving its Remodulin therapy, a treatment for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

EntreMed Inc.

EntreMed reported a third-quarter net loss of $4.6 million, a substantial improvement from the year-ago net loss of $11.8 million.

The net loss per share was 15 cents for the third quarter, also a decrease from the loss per share of 54 cents in the third quarter last year, the firm said.

Even though the loss narrowed, revenue also declined. EntreMed said revenue dropped to $258,000 in this year's third quarter from $346,000 last year.

EntreMed has focused on the research and product development of small-molecule therapeutics to treat cancer and other diseases.

Guilford Pharmaceuticals

Guilford reported a slightly narrowed net loss of $13.3 million, or 46 cents a share, for this year's third quarter, down from a loss of $14.6 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue was $5.4 million, up from $3.3 million in the third quarter of last year, the company said.

Guilford announced last week that it had acquired the Aggrastat heart attack treatment drug from Merck & Co. Inc. for $84 million.

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