Trimeris, Inc., which is preparing for the formal launch of its new HIV drug Fuzeon, reported an increase in losses for both the fourth quarter and for all of 2002.

Trimeris (Nasdaq: TRMS) said it lost $23.1 million, or $1.09 a share, in the fourth quarter. That compares to a loss of $21.5 million, or $1.24 a share, in 2001.

For the year, Trimeris said it lost $75.7 million, or $3.93 per share. The loss in 2001 was $66.7 million, or $3.96 per share.
The company raised $102.4 million in October through a public offering on 2.4 million shares.

Trimeris stock climbed nearly 4 percent on Wednesday, up $1.54 to close at $42.21.

Trimeris attributed the fourth quarter loss to action centered around Fuzeon.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $149.2 million as of Dec. 31, the company said.

“We are delighted to have received accelerated approval for Fuzeon from the FDA,” said Dr. Dani Bolognesi, chief executive officer of Trimeris, in a statement. “Together with our partner Roche, we are proud to bring this innovative new therapy to the growing number of people with HIV in need of new treatment options. The approval of Fuzeon validates our novel scientific approach and gives us confidence to move forward in developing additional fusion inhibitors”