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Abraxis pares 4Q loss without Abraxane charge

Thu, 03/11/2010 - 5:17am
The Associated Press

Biotechnology company Abraxis BioScience said Thursday it reduced fourth-quarter losses as it paid $268 million to regain the rights to its breast cancer drug.

Abraxis also trimmed its research and development and selling, general, and administrative expenses, recording a $14 million impairment charge in the process.

Abraxis said it lost $19 million, or 47 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $181.8 million, or $4.54 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenue from Abraxane, which is an injectable treatment for breast cancer, slipped 4 percent, to $85.9 million from $89.8 million.

In late 2008, Abraxis' partner AstraZeneca PLC ended a marketing deal on Abraxane. In January 2009, Abraxis exercised its option to buy back those rights. In the fourth quarter of 2008 it reported $158.9 million in reacquisition costs.

For the year, the company cut its loss by more than half, to $103.1 million, or $2.57 per share, from $276.8 million, or $6.91 per share. Revenue declined 6 percent, to $314.5 million from $335.6 million.

Abraxane is being tested against several other types of cancer, and Abraxis expects to report results from a non-small cell lung cancer study later this year.

Shares of Abraxis BioScience Inc. rose 52 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $35.90.

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