It’s been a wild stock market ride for Trimeris, Inc., the development-stage drug company that seems to have flirted its way into the heart’s of Wall Street investors.

But today, at least, the wild ride simmered down following the company’s first quarter earnings announcement.

Trimeris Chief Executive Officer Dr. Dani Bolognesi provided guidance to analysts during a conference call this morning, saying Trimeris is on pace to set landmark revenues of $1.3 million and plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities in the near future.

Bolognesi provided further guidance indicating that annual losses for Trimeris will reach into the $85 to $97 million range, and that second quarter research and development costs are expected to increase from $14.7 million during first quarter 2002 to $16 to $18 million at the end of the June quarter.

Trimeris also recorded first quarter net losses of $17.3 million, compared to $14.5 million during first quarter 2001, primarily due to an increase in the costs to continue testing and manufacturing its products, it said.

Those products are what are drawing people’s interest.

On April 18 when Trimeris officials announced positive 24-week results of testing T-20, Trimeris’ flagship product and a drug meant to enhance the effects of existing HIV drugs, shares of TRMS soared $11.25 in one afternoon, peaking at $52.75 before finally coming to rest at $50.50.

T-20 was tested on 491 HIV infected patients in North America and Brazil, and results showed that just 10 percent of those patients discontinued the study due to “injection site reactions,” says Lynn Smiley, Trimeris’ senior vice president of clinical research.

All four stock analysts who questioned Trimeris’ executive team inquired about the company’s plans for manufacturing and distribution. Deutsche Bank Securities’ Thomas Wei asked Bolognesi if the company plans to increase its capacity “above the three to four metric ton level.”

Bolognesi says that Trimeris’ current momentum is guiding it toward having to make some quick, crucial decisions to improve the efficiency of its manufacturing process, but declined to comment further. He also declined to indicate what inventory levels the company feels it needs to get its product to market.

But he did say that the company is considering other ways of getting T-20 into patients bodies other than through injection.

Company officials plan to present additional data about T-20 test results at the World AIDS Conference, which is being held in Barcelona, Spain this July, Bolognesi says.

Shares of Trimeris stock ranged in price from $29.64 to $52.75 during the last 52 weeks, and recently traded near $49.30. The company’s market capitalization is $812.8 million.

Close to 100,000 shares of Trimeris traded hands during the half-hour conference call with share prices hovering near $48, and another 50,000 traded hands in the 15 minutes following the call. Shortly before markets closed today, Trimeris shares were trading up at $49.25.

Trimeris Web site: