BioMarin starts new San Rafael buildings

[caption id="attachment_95979" align="aligncenter" width="500"] BioMarin Pharmaceutical plans to bring in 200 employees initially to work in this new San Rafael laboratory, shown in an architectural rendering. (credit: DGA)[/caption]

SAN RAFAEL -- BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN), is breaking ground on a three-story building at its headquarters campus that will become key to the fast-growing company's pipeline of treatments for rare diseases and disorders.

The new research-and-development laboratory, set for completion in fall of next year, will be home to about 200 employees initially, coming from other BioMarin facilities, plus room for more, according to spokeswoman Debra Charlesworth. The company already has around 400 employees at the San Rafael headquarters, 1,000 in Marin County overall and 1,300 worldwide.

"We are committed to Marin County and being here over the long term," Ms. Charlesworth said. "We're a major employer, and we're growing."

The company has five approved drugs, three in phase 3 clinical testing -- a final step before pursuing regulatory approvals -- two treatments in earlier stages of development and two planned to enter development.

The latest approved treatment is Vimizim, which treats Morquio A disorder, a hereditary metabolic disease that affects the development of a child's body and impacts about 800 in the U.S. alone. The treatment received a green light for sales in the U.S. and Europe earlier this year.

Sales of Vimizim in the first half of this year were $15.2 million, according to BioMarin's second-quarter financial report, released Thursday. Overall revenue was $191.7 million for the quarter, ended June 30, and $343.3 million for the first half, year-over-year increases of 40.1 percent and nearly 30 percent, respectively.

Sales of BioMarin's lead drug, Naglazyme, increased 40.6 percent to $98.3 percent in the second quarter and 28.1 percent to $178.4 million in the first half.

BioMarin (415-506-6700, is still in the red, but operational income figures have moved to the black. Second-quarter net loss expanded over 12 months to $33.5 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, from $21.5 million, or 16 cents a share, but proforma (non-GAAP) income was $10.8 million for the quarter, or 6 cents a share. For the first half, net loss grew to $71.6 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, from $61.3 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with proforma income of $9.1 million, or 5 cents a diluted share, up from a proforma loss of $8.0 million, or 6 cents a share.

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