Synageva takes bigger 1Q loss on research costs

Synageva BioPharma takes larger 1st-quarter loss as enzyme drug research continues

Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Mass. (AP) -- Drug developer Synageva BioPharma Corp. reported a bigger first-quarter loss Wednesday as it continued to study its main drug candidate.

Synageva is researching treatments for rare enzyme disorders. It does not have any products on the market, and its only product in clinical trials is designed to treat a disorder called lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. The disease causes the buildup of fatty material in the liver, spleen, and blood vessels walls, and it can cause serious health problems or death.

As studies progressed, Synageva reported a loss of $7.4 million, or 35 cents per share, in the most recent quarter. In the first quarter of 2011 it lost $5.4 million, or $95.77 per share. Last year's results came before Synageva was publicly traded.

Its research and development costs climbed to $6.8 million from $4.2 million, and other expenses more than doubled to $2.9 million. Its revenue grew to $2.4 million from $62,000.

Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss of 41 cents per share and $1.8 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Synageva became publicly traded when it merged with drug developer Trimeris Inc. in November. The company also raised about $84 million by selling 3.6 million shares of its stock.

In the latest quarter, the company had $1.4 million in royalty revenue and was paid $892,000 from collaborations and license payments. Revenue from other sources fell to $56,000 from $62,000.

Synageva said it still expects to lose $40 million to $45 million in 2012. Analysts are forecasting loss of $42 million, or $2.01 per share.

Shares of Synageva BioPharma fell 18 cents to $35.56 in morning trading.

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