Epix Medical grows 1Q revenues and shrinks net loss

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Increased revenues from product development contributed to specialty pharmaceutical developer Epix Medical Inc.'s first-quarter financial results.

Revenues increased to $3.6 million, compared with $3.5 million in the first quarter of 2003. Epix also posted a net loss of $3.9 million, compared with a net loss of $5.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Product development revenue gains from Epix's clot detection agent EP-2104R and MRI research agreements with Schering AG and royalty revenue increases were partially offset by decreases in contrast agent MS-325 product development revenue and license fee revenue.

Epix also benefited from reduced operating expenses - $7.7 million in the first quarter, compared with $9 million in the year-ago quarter - as research-and-development costs declined with the completion of the Phase III clinical trial program for MS-325. The decrease was somewhat offset by increased R&D expenses for EP-2104R and MRI research, as well as greater general and administrative expenses from increased marketing and other corporate expenses.

In February, the FDA accepted Epix's new drug application (NDA) for MS-325. The company said the target date for first FDA action is mid-October.

MS-325 is designed specifically for vascular imaging with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).