Vanda Pharmaceuticals' Q4 Loss Widens on Higher Expenses

Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VNDA  ) , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat central nervous system disorders, reported modest product growth and a wider net loss before the opening bell today.

In its fourth-quarter report, Vanda noted receiving $8.78 million in revenue, an expansion of 10.9% over the previous year as its net loss widened by 19.7% to $7.62 million. Adjusted EPS losses, however, matched the $0.23 loss reported in the year-ago period due to there now being 5 million more outstanding shares relative to the fourth quarter 2012.

Revenue for the quarter consisted of $6.75 million in amortized licensing revenue related to the $200 million upfront payment received from Novartis (NYSE: NVS  ) when it purchased the U.S. and Canadian rights to Vanda's FDA-approved schizophrenia drug, Fanapt in October 2009. Since this payment is amortized, it was consistent with the year-ago period. Royalty revenue from the sale of Fanapt, however, rose to $2 million from $1.2 million in the prior year. Furthermore, IMS reports indicate that 43,400 prescriptions for Fanapt were written during the fourth quarter, a 1% sequential decline from the third quarter, but a 14% year-over-year increase.

Total operating expenses for the quarter widened to $16.45 million from $14.35 million as a tripling in selling, general, and administrative expenses to $9.9 million more than offset a 41% decline in research and development expenses. These higher costs were the primary culprit of Vanda's wider net loss.

Although Vanda provided no specific financial guidance, it did note that it anticipates launching Hetlioz, the company's recently approved non-24-hour disorder drug to mediate sleep habits for the blind, sometime in the second quarter. It also ended the year with $130.4 million in cash, an improvement of $10 million over this time last year.

Vanda shares have been quite volatile following the announcement, falling as much as 10% shortly after it opened for trading and rising up to 12% thereafter. 

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