Savient's loss widens, shares fall

Wed May 9, 2012 10:26am EDT

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(Reuters) - Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc posted a wider-than-expected loss on weak sales of its gout drug Krystexxa in the first two months, sending its shares down 13 percent.

The drugmaker, which is under pressure from its largest creditor to liquidate itself, said it expects sales of branded and generic versions of its other drug oxandrolone -- used to promote weight gain following involuntary weight loss -- to decline through the year.

The company's largest creditor, Tang Capital Partners, was denied a request on Tuesday to bar Savient from raise $44 million.

Tang Capital called Krystexxa a commercial failure and demanded earlier this month that Savient liquidate itself and distribute its assets to creditors.

However, Savient said on a call with analysts that sales of Krystexxa had picked up. The company expects the increase in sales to continue as the drug's permanent reimbursement code became effective in January.

The number of Krystexxa accounts in the first quarter rose 20 percent sequentially to 115.

January-March net loss widened to $34.2 million, or 49 cents per share, from $13.5 million, or 19 cents per share, last year.

Revenue more than doubled to $3.5 million. Sales of Krystexxa contributed nearly 90 percent to total revenue.

Analysts on an average expected a loss of 46 cents per share on revenue of $4.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares in the East Brunswick, New Jersey-based company, which have fallen more than 10 percent since its chief financial officer resigned last month, were down 12 percent at $1.61 on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui and Vidya P L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Roshni Menon)

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