Despite reporting strong first quarter sales for its weight-loss drug, Belviq, San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s net loss increased compared with the like reporting period of the previous year.
Stock dropped nearly 5 percent, or 35 cents, following the May 12 news, closing at $6.84 per share. Arena has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2014, Arena’s revenue rose 187 percent to $6.8 million compared with the like quarter of 2013; prescriptions of the drug rose 31 percent to 77,000, and more than 60 percent of those patients received some form of insurance coverage for the pills.
However, the company’s net loss widened 34 percent to $25.3 million for the quarter; its net loss in the first quarter of 2013 was $18.9 million.
However, its cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments rose $35 million: It closed the first quarter of 2014 with $256.5 million, up from $221.9 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2013.