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North Bay Business Journal

Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 6:59 pm

Raptor first-quarter net loss expands 13% as R&D costs double

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    NOVATO — Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (Nasdaq: RPTP) today reported its first-quarter net loss expanded by 13.6 percent from a year before.

    Net loss was $15.9 million, or 30 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $14 million a year before.

    The reported loss comes just barely a week after Raptor received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market its first product, Procysbi, which treats the rare and possibly life-threatening metabolic disorder nephropathic cystinosis.

    “We are very excited to have our first drug approved and are working diligently on launching Procysbi in the U.S. and getting the product to cystinosis patients as soon as possible,” Christopher M. Starr, Ph.D., chief executive officer, said in a statement.

    Research and development expenses for the quarter ended March 31 of this year totaled about $8.4 million, compared with $4 million during the same quarter last year. The increase in R&D costs was said to be a direct result of reaching market approval and manufacturing for Procysbi, as well as for increased manufacturing for RP103, a potential treatment for Huntington’s disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children that is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials. 

    General and administrative costs increased to $7.9 million from $2.5 million. Raptor attributed that to the precommericial launch of Procysbi. Additional costs were said to be employee and stock compensation and legal fees.

    As of March 31 of this year, Raptor had $58.4 million of cash on hand. The company anticipates another $23.4 million in cash from net proceeds of the second payment from a $50 million loan agreement with Healthcare Royalty Partners, expected to close by the end of this month.

    Cash on hand also included $13 million in net proceeds under a stock sales agreement and $1.8 million received from warrant exercises during the end of this year’s first quarter.

    Raptor anticipates that its cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund operations into the second quarter of 2014

    Raptor was formed in 2005 by former executives from BioMarin, which also develops treatments for rare diseases and is based in Novato.

    Shares of Raptor were $6.13 each at the close of trading Wednesday, down 0.04 percent.

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