Announcements by three Triangle public companies — SciQuest, Pozen and Inspire Pharmaceuticals – on Tuesday provide insight into the turbulent economic conditions being experienced by technology companies throughout the region.

Morrisville-based SciQuest reported a fourth quarter net loss of $15.3 million, including non-cash charges of $11.6 million, and an $82.8 million net loss for all of 2001. Last year, SciQuest reported a fourth quarter net loss of $22.4 million, and a total loss of $84.3 million for the year.

Despite the negative earnings, SciQuest CEO Stephen Wiehe declared 2001 a banner year for the company. “Our performance for the fourth quarter was on track and provides us continued momentum in 2002.”

Wiehe says during the third quarter license fee revenues for the company, which provides e-commerce solutions for businesses, grew 27 percent while expenses were down 17 percent. SciQuest currently has $46 million in cash and investments, according to financial documents it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chapel Hill-based Pozen, Inc., a pharmaceutical development company, announced that it has successfully completed preliminary studies of its lead product called MT 100, which is designed to treat migraine headaches and associated symptoms. The study reveals that MT 100 is not carcinogenic.

The global market for migraine therapy is expected to grow to $2.6 billion by the end of 2002, industry observers say. Shares of Pozen stock currently trade for about $5 per share, and Peter Ginsburg, an analyst with U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, has set a 10-month target for the company’s stock back at $18 per share. As of Sept. 30, the latest data available, Pozen was not generating any revenues, but its net loss decreased 70 percent to $13.7 million.

Durham-based Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., another research and development company, announced that the company is reducing its budget by 25 percent in the wake of a failed dry-eye product test.

Mary Bennett, vice president of communications for Inspire, said the 25 percent reduction stems from the company’s decision to place two of its seven programs, which focus on dry-eye, lung cancer diagnosis, rhinosinusitis and cystic fibrosis, on hold. She added that no layoffs would result from the retrenchment.

“We found that the programs simply don’t offer as high a value as we would like,” she said.

At the end of third quarter 2001 Inspire reported revenues rose 46 percent to $5 million, and that net losses also increased 65 percent to $16.1 million.