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Amylin Sales Increase, But So Does Its Net Loss

San Diego’s Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which sells two diabetes drugs, Byetta and Symlin, reported fourth-quarter and year-end financial results recently.

While fourth-quarter sales of the drugs exceeded some analysts’ projections, the company reported a year-end net loss of $206.8 million, nearly 32 percent more than in 2004. The 2005 loss amounts to a decline of about $1.96 per share.

But Caris & Co. analyst Dr. Russ Gilbertson said to go easy on Amylin.

“They are targeting one of the largest markets in the U.S.,” Gilbertson said, explaining that sales penetration of larger markets tends to be “slow and steady.”

As Amylin’s sales momentum increases, the overall bottom line will be better, he said.

Net product sales were $56.2 million for the quarter and $86.7 million for the year. Total revenue for the year was $140.5 million.

The biotech also announced “positive results” of a 16-week Phase II, double-blind study for pramlintide, a drug meant to treat obesity. Company spokeswoman Amanda Campbell said Amylin has not yet released detailed results of the study, but is likely to do so at an upcoming scientific meeting, possibly in October at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

Stock, which trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol AMLN, was up $1.10, or almost 3 percent at $39.20, in after-hours trading the day of both announcements, Feb. 9.

Byetta brought in $49.7 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $18.1 million in the third quarter, which was its first full quarter on the market. Symlin reeled in $6.5 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $3.8 million in the third.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Byetta in April and Symlin the month before. Third-quarter sales fell about $3 million to $9.5 million short of some analysts’ projections.

The biotech reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $67.2 million, compared with $46 million for the same period in 2004. Amylin reports $443 million cash on hand.

The pramlintide study involved 400 obese people who took the drug under six different doses or a placebo. Participants lost between 8.4 and 13.4 pounds, compared with 6.2 pounds for the group taking the placebo. Volunteers also participated in a “structured lifestyle intervention program that included diet, exercise and behavioral counseling,” Amylin reported.

The drug is a man-made material that acts as amylin, a human hormone that helps regulate appetite, according to the company.

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Soaring Sales:

ResMed, Inc., a San Diego company that manufactures equipment to help people who suffer from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, reported a 41 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue over the same period in 2004.

For the fourth quarter of 2005, the company brought in $146.4 million. ResMed had a net income of $22 million in the fourth quarter compared with $17.4 million for the same quarter in 2004.

Expenditures, including those for sales and administration, tallied for the quarter at $45.3 million, an increase of 35 percent over 2004. The company, founded in 1989, said the number does not include $3.6 million in stock-based compensation. ResMed, which trades as RMD on the New York Stock Exchange, spent about 6 percent of its fourth-quarter revenue, or $8.6 million, on research and development. Shares traded at $42.57, up 1.3 percent Feb. 15.

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Making Changes:

Carlsbad-based ivow, Inc., which offers consulting services and training to the medical field for obesity management, announced last week that it has hired a new chief financial officer, Richard Gomberg, who will replace J. Bradford Hanson. The publicly held company said Hanson will leave ivow to pursue personal interests.

Gomberg has more than 15 years of experience in financial management and most recently worked as director of corporate services at Pracs Institute, Ltd., a contract research organization.

Ivow also said it moved its corporate headquarters last week from Carlsbad to San Diego. The new location will be 11455 El Camino Real.

The company, which trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol IVOW, traded at $4.53, down 1.26 percent Feb. 15.

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Raising Millions:

San Diego-based Accumetrics, Inc., a private medical device company, recently raised $8.25 million in a series C financing. Leading the investment was RiverVest Venture Partners, a St. Louis firm. Also participating were new investor Kaiser Venture Partners and previous major investors Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, KB Partners, PTV Sciences and a private corporate investor.

Accumetrics is the maker of VerifyNow, a line of diagnostic tests that measure platelet function and patient response to anti-platelet drugs, including aspirin and Plavix, two of the most widely used therapies for cardiovascular disease, according to Accumetrics.

Contact Katie Weeks with biotechnology news at kweeks@sdbj.com, or call her at (858) 277-6359.


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