Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ:CLVS) closed out last year with fourth-quarter sales of its cancer drug Rubraca up 30% year over year to $39.3 million. The figure was at the high end of the preliminary sales estimate the company announced in January, but it still represents a slowdown in growth for the entire year when sales increased 50% year over year.

The biotech gave away $8 million worth of the drug, which was 18% of the commercial supply. While still a substantial amount, Clovis has improved coverage of the drug by payers; this time last year, the supply of free drug was 26% of the commercial supply.

Doctor with her hand on a patient's shoulder

Image source: Getty Images.

For the quarter, Clovis lost $99.5 million, or $1.81 per share, as the company spent $72.5 million on research and development on clinical trials to expand the use of Rubraca into other types of cancer and on developing earlier-stage pipeline candidates.

Clovis ended the year with $296.7 million in the bank, which management thinks will get the company into the second half of next year. Unfortunately, the company has $97.2 million in convertible notes that come due in September 2021, which Clovis will either have to refinance or let convert to stock, diluting current shareholders.

Looking ahead, Clovis is launching Rubraca for the maintenance treatment of recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer in Germany, England, Italy and France, and a launch in Spain is expected shortly. In the U.S., Clovis is waiting for Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug for advanced prostate cancer, which is expected on or before May 15.