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Orexigen Therapeutics posts smaller 1Q loss

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 8:17am
The Associated Press

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. reported a narrower first-quarter loss on Monday and said it is preparing to discuss its experimental obesity drug Contrave with U.S. regulators.

The company said it lost $11.6 million, or 24 cents per share, down from $14.1 million, or 30 cents per share. Its revenue rose to $1.8 million from $22,000.

Analysts expected a loss of 20 cents per share and $900,000 in revenue, according to FactSet.

Orexigen said it will meet with the Food and Drug Administration later in the second quarter to discuss a proposal for Contrave. Orexigen said that together with partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals, it has submitted a plan to deal with the drug's potential heart risks, which derailed its approval last year.

In the first quarter the company reported $857,000 from collaborations and $971,000 in license revenue. A year ago it had $22,000 in license revenue.

Orexigen said its research and development costs decreased to $6.6 million from $8 million. It filed for approval of Contrave in March 2010.

An FDA advisory panel voted in favor of approving the drug in December, but the agency said in February that it would not approve the drug. It asked Orexigen to run another study on the potential side effects on patients' hearts.

Contrave combines bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is used to treat depression and help people quit smoking, while naltrexone is used to decrease cravings for alcohol and illegal drugs.

Shares of Orexigen fell 6 cents to $2.96 in midday trading.

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