Durham drug developer Chimerix reports drop in revenue in 4th quarter

Antiviral drug developer Chimerix reported a drop in revenue in the fourth quarter because of reduced reimbursements from a federal contract.

The Durham company’s revenue totaled $879,000, compared with $3.6 million during the four quarter of last year. The consensus among Wall Street analysts who cover the company was revenue of $1.2 million.

Chimerix said the drop was largely the result of a decrease in reimbursable expenses related to its contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Chimerix had a net loss of $8.2 million, or 31 cents per share, in the fourth quarter compared with a net loss of $4.3 million, or $3.90 per share in the same period in 2012. Analysts had forecast a loss of $10 million and 36 cents per share.

Chimerix has no drugs on the market but several in the pipeline. The 54-employee company is developing a treatment for life-threatening viral infections in patients whose immune systems have been compromised by cancer or drugs. Its most advanced experimental drug, brincidofovir, is enrolling patients in Phase 3 clinical trials. Results from the trials are expected next year. Chimerix is also working with BARDA to develop brincidofovir as a medical countermeasure against smallpox.

“2014 will be a year in which we seek to expand the development of brincidofovir into a broader range of DNA viruses, new patient populations and additional territories,” CEO Kenneth Moch said on a conference call with analysts Friday. The company also is looking to plan its activities in Europe this year, Moch said.

Chimerix’s administrative expenses increased from $1.4 million to $2.6 million. The increase was attributed to the added costs of operating as a publicly traded company. Chimerix raised $117.9 million in April in an initial public offering of stock.

For the year, Chimerix reported a net loss of $36.4 million, or $3.65 per share, compared with a net loss of $4.4 million, or $5.75 per share in 2012.

Chimerix shares closed Friday at $18.73, down 17 cents. The shares began trading at $14 in April.

Staff writer David Bracken