Pozen, which has submitted its first migraine treatment to the FDA for approval, says net losses at the company dropped by almost $10 million last year as it also recorded revenues for the first time.

For 2003, the Chapel Hill-based company posted a loss of $14.9 million, compared to $24.6 million in 2002. Pozen recorded $3.7 million in revenue in 2003 after bringing in no revenue in 2002.

The company actually received more than $27 million for licensing agreements from companies such as GSK. But Pozen said most of that revenue would not be recognized until future quarters.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Pozen had a net loss of $1.6 million on revenue of $1.8 million. The company recorded a net loss of $5.7 million on no revenue in the same quarter of 2002.

“Pozen made considerable progress in 2003. We booked revenue and achieved positive cash flow for the first time in our company history,” said John Plachetka, chairman, president and CEO of Pozen. “We submitted a New Drug Application for MT 100 (in July) and have secured commercial partnerships for several product candidates,” including those with GlaxoSmithKline, Xcel Pharmaceuticals, and Nycomed.

Late last month, Pozen reported favorable results of a two-year rat carcinogenicity study for MT 100, an oral drug it is developing for migraine headaches. The new sent shares of Pozen (Nasdaq: POZN) up more than $3, or 25 percent to just over $14.50. The stock is currently trading around $13.50, a drop of more than three percent in morning trading Wednesday.

Operating expenses at Pozen fell by 25 percent to $19.1 million in 2003 and to $3.6 million from $5.9 million in the fourth quarter. The lower expenses resulted from decreases in research and development costs.

Pozen closed 2003 with $60.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, up from $50 million at the end of 2002. Positive cash flow accounted for the gain, Pozen said.

For 2004, Pozen said it forecasts $23 million to $25 million in total revenue from existing licensing agreements. The company expects expenses to range from $30 million to $34 million. Fourth-quarter projections are for $1.9 million in revenue and $4 million to $5 million in expenses, Pozen said.

Pozen is also working with the FDA on further review of one of the company’s other migraine treatments, MT 300, which initially received a “not approvable” letter from the federal regulatory agency last October.

In the company’s earnings release, Pozen said it is “committed” to working with the FDA and is preparing a “complete response” to address the issues raised in the letter.

“We look forward to an equally exciting 2004 as we move our product candidates through development and the regulatory process,” added Plachetka, “continue to work on securing commercial partnerships, and introduce new product candidates into our pipeline.”

Pozen: www.pozen.com