New drug helps Pharmaxis cut losses
Australian drug maker Pharmaxis has reported a $20.8 million net loss for the six months to December, a 6 per cent increase in net loss from the previous corresponding period.
No dividend was declared.
Pharmaxis shares increased by up to 1.56 per cent higher in early trade to 65 cents
The pharmaceutical company reported $1.4 million of revenue for the half-year, a 115 per cent increase from the same period the year before, supported in part by higher sales of Aridol, an asthma tester, in South Korea and by sales in the US.
European sales of Bronchitol, a drug used to treat cystic fibrosis patients with lung difficulties, started in June of last year and added to the revenue increase.
Pharmaxis added that its revenue from ordinary activities, which included interest income and other income, such as in an accrual for research and development incentive credits, totalled $5.9 million, a 77 per cent rise from the 2012 half-year.
Pharmaxis suffered a set-back last month when advisers to US regulators negatively reviewed Bronchitol, making it less likely that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would approve the drug for marketing in the US when it meets on March 18, analysts said.
BBY healthcare analyst Dennis Hulme said Pharmaxis' results were in line with expectations.
"The key issue for Pharmaxis is the FDA approval of Bronchitol. It really is about what the FDA does now. There is a chance that they will approve the use of Bronchitol in a narrower group of cystic fibrosis patients - adult patients.
"There was a degree of support for that on the panel. That may happen, [but] it's more likely that they'll require them to do additional trials."
Mr Hulme said Pharmaxis' sales of Bronchitol was "tracking along" as expected. "They are on track to get substantial sales out of those two markets (Europe and Australia)," he said.
Pharmaxis is also set to release results of its Phase III clinical trial of patients with Bronchiectasis later this year.