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Synta Pharma Books 3Q Loss After Partnership Ends

From Associated Press (November 4, 2010)

LEXINGTON, Mass. -- Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. said Thursday it slid to a third-quarter loss from a year-ago period boosted by a hefty final payment from former cancer drug development partner GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

GlaxoSmithKline and Synta were developing a cancer drug called elesclomol, but in 2009, the drug failed in a late-stage clinical trial as a treatment for melanoma. GlaxoSmithKline pulled out of the partnership in September 2009 and paid Synta a lump sum of $114.6 million.

The company said it lost $10.3 million, or 25 cents per share, over the three months ended Sept. 30. A year ago Synta reported a profit of $118.1 million, or $3.48 per share. The company’s revenue fell to $3.4 million from $130.4 million a year ago for the same reason.

Analysts expected a smaller loss of 22 cents per share and higher revenue of $4.1 million, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Synta plans to start enrolling patients in a new study of elesclomol by early 2011, evaluating the drug as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia in a mid-stage trial. On Monday, Synta said it is also planning a mid-stage trial of elesclomol in cancer of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and peritoneum. The company is testing a different cancer drug called STA-9090 against a variety of different cancers, including cancers of the lung, colon, and blood. Synta is running eight mid-stage and two-early stage trials of STA-9090.

The company is also studying anti-inflammatory disease drugs. In midday trading, Synta stock fell 9 cents to $3.69.


Posted: November 2010