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Thursday, February 21, 2013, 6:33 pm

BioMarin losses increase along with revenue, R&D

Half-billion in revenue could double with lead drug approval

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    SAN RAFAEL – BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) on Thursday reported its fourth-quarter and 2012 net losses about doubled from a year before.

    BioMarin reported a net loss of $53 million, or 43 cents per share,  for the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $26.7 million, or 23 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. The loss for the year expanded to $114.3 million, or 95 cents per share, from $53.8 million, or 48 cents per share.

    The San Rafael-based developer of drugs for rare genetic disorders cited increased costs in research and development as the primary reason for the loss. Other factors driving the losses include increased selling, general and administrative expenses, which were partially offset by  increased net product revenue, the company said.

    Yet 2012 was a “milestone year” for BioMarin, according to Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, chief executive officer of BioMarin.

    “Our growing commercial portfolio helped us surpass $500 million in total revenue and the pipeline continued to advance, culminating in positive results for the pivotal Phase 3 study for Vimizim at the end of the year,” he said. “We are poised for additional clinical milestones in the first half of 2013 with key data readouts from BMN-701 for Pompe disease and BMN-673, our PARP inhibitor. We also expect to have our first regulatory approval for Vimizim by the end of 2013, which we believe will propel the company into its next stage of growth.”

    Despite the quarterly and annual losses, BioMarin increased its cash and cash equivalents to $566.7 million as of Dec. 31, compared with $533 million on Sept. 30.

    Rumors have been circulating that BioMarin is an acquisition target. Mr. Bienaimé fended off that speculation in a recent Reuters interview, acknowledging that BioMarin had been approached by potential suitors but underscoring that the company would not consider a buyout for a 25 percent to 30 percent premium. 

    Investors may view the company’s pipeline as a potentially profitable asset, with regulatory approval expected this year for GALNS, an enzyme-replacement drug that treats Morquio A syndrome. Upon approval, it’s estimated that BioMarin’s annual revenues could double, reaching $1 billion, Mr. Bienaimé reportedly told Reuters in an interview at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

    BioMarin’s closing stock price Thursday was $53.27 a share, down $1.90. 

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