Durham drug maker BioCryst Pharmaceuticals reported a significant dropoff in revenue and profit in the fourth quarter as the company completed a lucrative federal research contract.
BioCryst said Wednesday its fourth-quarter revenue dropped by roughly half, to $5.4 million in 2014 from $10.6 million for the same three-month period in 2013. BioCryst’s net loss for the fourth quarter last year doubled to $11.7 million, or loss of 16 cents a share, from a loss of $5.4 million, or 9 cents a share, in 2013.
The reduction was caused mainly by expiration and completion of contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The news was not unexpected, as BioCryst drew down on a $235 million federal research contract to develop peramivir, an intravenous influenza treatment. In December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved peramivir, the 28-year-old company’s first drug approved in the United States and the country’s first new flu treatment in 15 years.
BioCryst’s stock was up 4 cents in mid-morning trading, to $10.17 a share. U.S. authorities are expected to buy a large supply of peramivir, which sells as Rapivab, for a national stockpile to use in case of a pandemic.
The 51-employee company is also developing an antiviral to use against Ebola and Marburg virus infections. And it’s developing a treatment for hereditary angioedema, a rare blood disorder that causes painful and dangerous swelling.