* Q2 loss $0.46/shr vs est loss $0.27/shr
* Says existing cash to last through 2009
* Says evaluating partnership on schizophrenia drug
* Shares down as much as 15.5 pct (Adds conference call details, updates share movement) Aug 10 (Reuters) - Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc (VNDA.O) posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by a 31 percent jump in research and development costs, sending its shares down as much as 15 percent.
The company said its research and development costs for the second quarter increased due to regulatory consulting fees paid and/or accrued as a result of the approval of Fanapt, its treatment for schizophrenia. Research and development expenses for the quarter rose to $7.2 million, from $5.5 million, a year ago.
With $29.0 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, which the company expects to last through 2009, Vanda said it was evaluating alternative commercial strategies for its schizophrenia drug Fanapt.
However, on a conference call with analysts Chief Executive Mihael Polymeropoulos said the company was still on track to make Fanapt commercially available in the fourth quarter.
Vanda had planned to launch Fanapt on its own this year after the U.S. health regulator approved the drug for marketing in May.
Vanda had not made any decision on raising funds to support its operations before finding a partner for the drug, Polymeropoulos added.
For the second quarter, the company posted a net loss of $12.4 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $13.5 million, or 51 cents a share, a year ago.
Analysts on average expected the company to post a loss of 27 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of the company, which have almost doubled in the last three months, touched a low of $13.11 earlier in the session. They were trading down $1.87 at $13.65 Monday on Nasdaq.
For the alerts, double-click [ID:nWNBB2559] (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri, Pradeep Kurup)