Trimeris (Nasdaq: TRMS) is in the black for the first time since going public in 1997.

The pharmaceutical firm, which was founded in 1993, reported its first profitable quarter on Thursday as international sales of its AIDS drug Fuzeon climbed 54 percent to $208 million in its second full year of sales.

Trimeris partners with drug giant Roche in production and sales of Fuzeon. The drug won FDA approval in March of 2003.

Trimeris said it had a profit of $3.8 million, or 17 cents a share, for the fourth quarter compared to a $5.7 million loss the previous year.

Trimeris still finished the year in the red with a loss of $8.1 million. But in 2004 losses were $40.1 million.

“Attaining profitability is a significant and transforming event for Trimeris,” said Steven Skolsky, chief executive officer of Trimeris. “Continued investment in the growth of Fuzeon, efficient use of resources, and the progression of the next generation fusion inhibitor program will be the foundation for significant growth and continued profitability through 2006.”