U.S. Markets closed

Curis posts profit after skin cancer drug approval

LEXINGTON, Mass. (AP) -- Drug developer Curis Inc. said Tuesday that it turned a first-quarter profit after federal regulators approved its skin cancer treatment Erivedge early in the period.

Curis reported a profit of $2.2 million, or 3 cents per share, for the three months that ended March 31. The company reported a loss of $6.8 million, or 9 cents per share, in same period of 2011.

First-quarter revenue jumped to $10.4 million from $133,538. Most of that came from a $10 million license fee from Genentech, a subsidiary of Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Erivedge.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a profit of 4 cents a share and revenue of $10 million.

Curis, based in Lexington, Mass., said its expenses rose 49 percent to $8.2 million from $5.5 million.

The FDA approved Erivedge in January. It is a local treatment for advanced basal cell carcinoma in patients who are not candidates for surgery or radiation or whose cancer has spread to other body parts. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and Erivedge is the only federally approved drug to treat advanced cases.

Curis collaborated with Genentech on the drug. In addition to the $10 million, Genentech paid Curis royalties of $270,000 for the quarter.

The company said it has received a $4 million payment in the current quarter from Roche after it applied to get Erivedge approved in Australia. Approval by regulators in Australia it would lead to another large payment and plus royalties from any future sales there.

Shares of Curis rose 3 cents to close Tuesday at $4.78.