A surge in sales of the HIV drug Fuzeon and other payments delivered handsome profits for biopharmaceutical firm Trimeris in the first quarter, the company said Wednesday.

Trimeris (NASDAQ: TRMS) shares closed at $7.61, up 10 cents, before the earnings announcement. In after-hours trading, the stock jumped 6 percent, or 46 cents.

The company reported a profit of $8.2 million, or 37 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a 12-cent per share profit. Revenues soared to $17.4 million, nearly double analysts expectations of $9.5 million.

Trimeris said it expected modest growth in Fuzeon sales in coming months.

Under interim management since the forced retirement of co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Dani Bolognesi in March, Trimeris also disclosed its formal intention to develop a new HIV drug on its own. Roche, Trimeris’ partner in production and sales of Fuzeon, recently returned all development rights for the potential treatment to Trimeris.

The drug compound is known as TRI-1144.

Expenses related to the replacement of Bolognese and other workers totaled $4.3 million in the quarter.

"Quarter over quarter Trimeris has strengthened its financial position and improved its liquidity,” said E. Lawrence Hill, who is the interim president and chief operating officer for Trimeries. “We expect this trend to continue during 2007 and look forward to providing you with further updates as the year progresses."