BioCryst shares dip on sluggish Q1 earnings

Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals dropped 9 percent Thursday after the Durham drug developer reported first-quarter earnings that fell below analyst expectations.

The 68-employee company said first-quarter revenue dropped to $4.8 million from $6.8 million a year ago, largely because BioCryst realized less revenue in federal research contracts from January to March. BioCryst’s primary source of funding is federal research grants.

The company’s net loss for the first quarter widened to $22.8 million, a loss of 31 cents per share, compared with a loss of $15.2 million, or 21 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

Analysts had forecast a first-quarter loss of 23 cents a share on revenue of $5.1 million, according to an average of eight analysts compiled by Bloomberg News.

BioCryst is developing a treatment for hereditary angioedema, a potentially fatal swelling condition, and is also developing an antiviral to protect the public in potential bioterror attacks. The antiviral, BCX4430, demonstrated effectiveness earlier this year in treating mice infected with the Zika virus.

The company’s shares fell 27 cents to $2.73. The stock is down 73.5 percent this year.

BioCryst shares plummeted in February when the company reported that one of its experimental drugs produced disappointing results in mice.

John Murawski: 919-829-8932, @johnmurawski