Cancer-drug developer Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN) continued to demonstrate the steady progress of its late-stage prostate cancer treatment Xtandi with its first-quarter earnings release after the closing bell.

For the quarter, Medivation's collaborative partner Astellas Pharma (NASDAQOTH:ALPMY) reported robust sales growth for Xtandi of 65% in the U.S., to $124.5 million from $75.4 million in the year-ago period, while Ex.-U.S. sales surged to $47.8 million from a mere $0.3 million in the year-prior period. Collaboration revenue attributed to upfront and milestone payments also rose nicely, to $19.2 million. Added together, Medivation's collaboration revenue totaled $87.2 million for the quarter, up 89% from Q1 2013.

Partially offsetting this revenue surge was a 40% rise in operating expenses, to $95.7 million, primarily due to an 84% rise in research and development expenses tied to Medivation's maturing clinical programs.

The net effect, however, was a 50% reduction in its net loss, to $13.7 million, or $0.18 per share, from $27.2 million, or $0.36 per share in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street, on the other hand, had been counting on a smaller loss of $0.09 per share, and $98.4 million in collaborative revenue.

Medivation also announces a modest increase in cash and cash equivalents, to $241.5 million from $228.8 million in the sequential fourth quarter.

Looking ahead, Medivation projected U.S. net sales of Xtandi to be between $540 million and $575 million with total operating expenses of $400 million to $430 million. Of that, $45 million to $50 million will be non-cash stock-based compensation. 

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.

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