BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BMRN) announced nearly 16 percent year-over-year revenue growth for 2018, but it continues to operate at a loss.
Revenues increased to $1.47 billion in full year 2018 from $1.27 billion in 2017. Of that, $353.2 million was posted in the fourth quarter of 2018, down 1.4 percent from $358.3 million during the same period in 2017.
The San Rafael-based pharmaceutical company researches and manufactures drugs targeting rare diseases, especially in children.
While the company still operated at a net loss like many pharmaceutical companies looking for the next highly profitable treatment, year-over-year net losses decreased 34 percent last year to $77.2 million (44 cents per diluted share), versus $117.0 million (67 cents) in 2017, according to its earnings statement.
The fourth-quarter net loss was $3.65 million (3 cents per diluted share), a big improvement from the $51.3 million (29 cents) loss a year before.
“Overall, our excellent 2018 financial results showed that we are tracking towards our long-term financial goals, including growing revenues, controlling expenses, expanding margins, and ultimately delivering GAAP profitability,” said Daniel Spiegelman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, during a call to discuss the earnings report Thursday.
Spiegelman said the company expected growth in 2019, based on currently approved drugs. Projected revenue is $1.68 billion to $1.75 billion.
That optimism was also based on two drugs currently under development by BioMarin, valrox and vosoritide, according to Chairman and CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimé. He described the treatments as “truly transformational for the company.”
Valrox is a hemophilia A gene therapy. The company has said it hopes to file for approval with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the second half of this year. The drug is currently in phase 3 of development.
The still-experimental vosoritide is designed to treat achondroplasia in children, the most common form of dwarfism. There is currently no FDA-approved treatment for the condition, and the company said late last year it expects phase 3 trial results before the end of 2019.