Auxilium narrows 4Q loss, inks collaboration deal

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Associated Press

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 23 at 6:01 PM

MALVERN, Pa. (AP) — Drug developer Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter loss narrowed, and it could receive nearly $70 million through a collaboration with Swiss counterpart Actelion Ltd.

Auxilium, based in Malvern, Pa., will partner with Actelion to sell its drug Xiaflex to treat Dupuytren's contracture and Peyronie's disease. Dupuytren's contracture makes the tendons of the hand thicken and shorten, causing the fingers to curve inward. Peyronie's disease causes abnormal curvature of the penis.

Actelion receives exclusive rights under the deal to sell the drug in Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico after it receives regulatory approval.

In return, Actelion will pay Auxilium $10 million upfront and make up to $58.5 million in potential milestone payments.

Xiaflex is approved in the United States and Europe as a Dupuytren's contracture treatment and is being studied for Peyronie's disease. It generated $15.7 million in revenue for Auxilium in the fourth quarter, nearly double its total from the final quarter of 2010.

Overall, Auxilium lost $11.9 million, or 25 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares to a loss of $16.4 million, or 34 cents per share, in the 2010 quarter. Revenue rose 19 percent to $73.3 million, as sales for Auxilium's testosterone gel Testim climbed 8 percent to $57.6 million.

Analyst surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, a loss of 17 cents per share on $73.2 million in revenue.

For the full year, the company lost $32.9 million, or 69 cents per share, on $264.3 million in revenue.

Company shares climbed 4 percent, or 77 cents to $19.54 in afternoon trading.

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