Having two drugs on the market and no profitability in the near future does not make for what I'd call a stellar earnings report. But investors in Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) are apparently looking ahead to future FDA approvals, which would help turn the company in the right direction. The stock is up more than 5% today after Amylin announced earnings Monday night.

Amylin brought in $197 million in revenues, including $167.3 million in product sales from its two diabetes-treating drugs and $29.6 million in payments from collaborators. The latter includes a $15 million milestone payment from marketing partner Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), primarily for the launch of Byetta in the European Union.

Amylin's other drug, Symlin, which it markets by itself, brought in $15.2 million, up 49% year over year. The company plans to further increase sales of this drug by making it available in a pen delivery system, which is more user-friendly than the vial form in which it's currently offered.

Sales of Byetta made up three-fourths of the total revenues for the quarter, and the $152.1 million in sales of the drug was a 54% better showing than last quarter. Yet even with the stellar increase, sales of the drug came in lower than expected because of competition with Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Januvia.

The increased sales also weren't enough to overcome expenses. Amylin lost $0.34 per share for the quarter, compared with a loss of $0.38 per share last year. The loss of $45 million, though, is nothing for a company with $1.1 billion in cash and short-term securities -- much of which comes from $559 million in convertible senior notes the company financed last month. Even with increased expenses from a new manufacturing plant, Amylin still has plenty of time to get more drugs out of its pipeline.

Much of the quarter's loss can be attributed to the $71.7 million Amylin spent on research and development, which was up more than 40% from last year. The company has two drugs in costly late-stage clinical trials: a long-acting version of exenatide, a diabetes-management drug that's in a phase 3 trial, and an anti-obesity drug, Pramlintide, which is in phase 2 trials. Results from both trials are scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter.

It's not a problem that companies with one or two drugs take a while to become profitable. After all, development costs for drugs in a pipeline can be tremendous. But for now, Amylin finds itself in the same place as developmental-stage drug companies: For the near future, it will live and die by the clinical trial results it releases.

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool's disclosure policy is rock-solid.

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