Chimerix reported a $37.8 million loss in the fourth quarter. The loss comes as the Durham drug developer seeks to move forward after disappointing results forced it recently to halt several clinical trials.
The company also announced Monday that it cut 20 percent of its workforce in January. Chimerix employed 130 people in December.
Chimerix said it is refocusing its development efforts for its antiviral brincidofovir in light of the recent failures. It expects to initiate clinical trials for a new intravenous formulation of the drug in the second half of the year, and hopes to complete a test of the drug for treatment of smallpox on animals in the fourth quarter.
“We remain confident in the antiviral activity shown by brincidofovir, and its significant potential as a much-needed treatment option for patients with adenovirus and other DNA viral infections,” CEO M. Michelle Berrey said in a statement.
Chimerix has plenty of cash to pursue other business development opportunities. The company ended the year with $342.9 million in cash and no debt, and it has exclusive rights to brincidofovir through 2034.
Still, the company’s prospects are now much dimmer than they were just a few months ago when brincidofovir was considered a treatment that had the potential to destroy fatal viruses, including Ebola disease, without the crippling side-effects of current treatments.
In December, Chimerix reported that patients taking brincidofovir in one clinical trial died at higher rates than those taking a placebo. The drug did not cause the deaths, but it also did not help the patients. Earlier this month, Chimerix reported more disappointing results, leading it to halt two clinical trials and focus on other research areas.
Investors have hammered Chimerix’s stock in recent months, sending the shares down 87 percent since Christmas. The stock closed Monday at $4.61, down 11 cents.
The company’s loss in the fourth quarter was nearly double the $20.2 million Chimerix lost in the fourth quarter of 2014. The widening loss was largely the result of increased research and development spending. R&D costs rose from $15.7 million to $31.6 million.
Revenue in the fourth quarter was $3.1 million, compared with $1.2 million during the same period in 2014.