Fat-fighting clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OREX) posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss on the back of lower research and development expenses.

For the quarter, Orexigen recorded $857,000 in revenue which is consistent with the year-ago quarter and based on its amortized collaborative revenue agreement with partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQOTH:TKPYY) from a deal logged in 2010.

Net loss, however, dipped 33.8% to $21.5 million, or $0.21 per share, from $32.5 million, or $0.41 per share, in the year-ago quarter. It is worth noting, though, that Orexigen has 22.8 million more shares outstanding now than it had at the end of this quarter last year.

Critical to Orexigen's narrower loss was a dramatic decrease in research and development expenses to $15.5 million from $28.3 million. This drop was attributed to the completion of the cardiovascular outcomes trial known as the Light Study for experimental weight-loss drug Contrave. General and administrative expenses actually rose 24.8% to $6.3 million.

Orexigen ended 2013 with $177 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities and forecast 2014 operating expenses in the $75 million-$85 million range. The company noted, though, that it anticipates its cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balance will be higher a year from now because it is eligible to receive a $100 million milestone payment from Takeda once Contrave is approved in the U.S. and logs its first commercial sale.

Finally, the press release notes CEO Michael Narachi's optimism that Contrave will be approved in the both the U.S. and European markets in 2014, and that the company expects to work on finding a partner to commercialize its weight control management drug outside of North America. 

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool has no position in any companies mentioned in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Compare Brokers