A lot of hope is resting on Exelixis' (NASDAQ: EXEL ) Cometriq as a possible treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; but tonight was all about the company's first-quarter earnings results.
For the quarter, the cancer-focused drug developer reported total revenue of $4.9 million consisting entirely of Cometriq product sales. Currently, Cometriq is only approved to treat metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. Comparably, revenue dipped by close to 50% from the prior-year period, but that was primarily due to the recognition of $7.8 million in licensing and contract revenue, which was missing in Q1 of this year. Cometriq sales totaled just $1.9 million in the year-ago period.
Research and development costs for the quarter soared 68%, to $54.8 million, as costs related to its clinical trials, as well as the need for personnel to run four phase 3 clinical studies, have increased. Exelixis notes the wind down of other studies partially offset this rise in R&D expenses.
Selling, general, and administrative costs rose by 40%, to $14.7 million, with an increase in personnel accounting for about half of the rise. The remainder of the increase related to marketing expenses for Cometriq, as well as stock-based compensation.
The end result of these higher costs was that net loss for the quarter ballooned 67%, to $74.6 million, or $0.39 per share, compared to a narrower loss of $0.24 per share in Q1 2013. Exelixis also announced that it ended the quarter with $407.7 million in cash and cash equivalents compared to $415.9 million in the sequential fourth quarter. Keep in mind its cash total includes proceeds from a 10 million share offering in January that raised approximately $75.6 million.