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Human Genome Sciences Posts Smaller 4Q Loss

From Associated Press (February 27, 2012)

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Human Genome Sciences Inc. reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss Monday as sales of its lupus treatment Benlysta continued gradually increasing.

The company reported $25.7 million in sales of Benlysta for the period that ended Dec. 31 _ $29.1 million, excluding adjustments. U.S. regulators approved the drug in March, and European Union regulators did the same in July.

Human Genome Sciences said it lost $81 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with a loss of $87.6 million, or 46 cents per share, in 2010's fourth quarter. Revenue more than doubled, to $45.5 million from $21.3 million.

Analysts on average expected the company to report a loss of 42 cents per share and $42.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Shares of Human Genome Sciences slipped 7 cents to close Monday at $8.40 before the company released its earnings report. In after-hours trading, they rose 35 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $8.75 before retreating to a 12-cent increase.

Lupus is a potentially fatal autoimmune disease that is little understood. Benlysta is the first new treatment approved to treat it in the U.S. in 50 years, and analysts say annual sales could grow to billions of dollars. In 2011, gross sales totaled $59.2 million.

A year ago, all of Human Genome Sciences' product revenue came from payments for its inhaled anthrax treatment ABthrax, which produced revenue of $13.6 million in the latest quarter. Revenue from manufacturing and development services and from collaborative agreements both decreased slightly from a year earlier.

In 2011, Human Genome Sciences took a loss of $381.1 million, or $1.97 per share. It lost $233.2 million, or $1.24 per share, in 2010. Revenue slipped 17 percent, to $131 million from $157.4 million. The company's 2010 results include payments from Novartis AG related to an experimental hepatitis C drug called Zalbin. Novartis and Human Genome Sciences ended development of that drug because they expected regulators would ask for more data.


Posted: February 2012