Curis posts 4Q profit on skin cancer drug payments

Curis turns 4th-quarter profit on payments from Roche, its partner on skin cancer drug

Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Mass. (AP) -- Drug developer Curis Inc. said Wednesday it turned a profit during the fourth quarter as regulators reviewed its skin cancer drug Erivedge, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in January.

Curis reported a profit of $6.1 million, or 7 cents per share. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Curis reported a net loss of $5.6 million, or 7 cents per share.

The company's quarterly revenue grew to $14.1 million from about $100,000, as it received two large payments from Swiss drugmaker Roche, its partner on Erivedge.

Analysts expected the company to report a profit of 2 cents per share and revenue of $11.1 million, according to FactSet.

Roche paid Curis $8 million in November after the FDA accepted its filing for marketing approval of Erivedge, and Curis received another $6 million in December after Roche filed for marketing approval in Europe. The FDA approved the drug Jan. 30, which triggered another $10 million payment to Curis.

Erivedge is a pill designed to treat locally advanced basal cell carcinoma in patients who are not candidates for surgery or radiation, and for patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer.

In 2011 Curis lost $9.9 million, or 13 cents per share. It lost $4.4 million, or 6 cents per share, in 2010. Revenue fell to $14.8 million from $16 million.

Curis said its research and development expenses will grow to a range of $16 million to $20 million in 2012, and it expects general and administrative costs to increase to $10 million to $12 million. The company reported $22 million in total operating expenses in 2011. It expects to end the year with $23 million to $27 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities. That estimate does not include royalties on sales of Erivedge.

Shares of Curis lost 37 cents, or 6.8 percent, to close Wednesday at $5.10.

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