Inspire Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISPH) has reported a 2002 third quarter net loss of $5.5 million, or 21 cents per share, as compared to a net loss of $4.9 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Net loss for the first nine months of 2002 was $16.2 million, or 63 cents per common share, compared to a net loss of $16.1 million, or 62 cents per common share, for the first nine months of 2001.

“We have continued to advance our high-priority programs successfully this year, while maintaining strict cost controls,” Inspire President Gregory J. Mossinghoff said in a statement. “We have made significant progress in a number of key clinical and preclinical projects, clearly adding value to the company along the way.”

Research and development expense for the third quarter of 2002 was $5.9 million, down $700,000 from $6.6 million for the same period in 2001. R&D expense for the first nine months of 2002 was $16.8 million, down $3.4 million from $20.2 million for the same period in 2001.

Inspire’s total revenues for the third quarter of 2002 were $1.4 million, down $800,000 from $2.2 million for the same period in 2001. Revenues for the first nine months of 2002 were $3.8 million, down $1.2 million from $5 million for the first nine months of 2001.

Revenues for the period relate to SAB101 pro-rated up front and milestone payments received from Allergan Inc. in the third quarter of 2001, the second quarter of 2002 and an up front payment Inspire received from Kirin Brewing Co. Ltd. Pharmaceutical Division in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Cash, short-term and long-term investments totaled $40.6 million for Durham-based Inspire at the end of the quarter.

Inspire Pharmaceuticals: www.inspirepharm.com