Sales of Fuzeon dropped but Trimeris, after a slashing of its work force and making changes in management in March, reported another profitable quarter on Thursday.
Trimeris (Nasdaq: TRMS) reported a $4.7 million profit, or 21 cents per share, on $9.1 million in revenues for the second quarter after the markets closed. That’s a sharp turnaround from a $334,000 loss for the same quarter a year ago.
The results topped estimates by Wall Street analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial who expected profits of 13 cents per share on revenues of $9.19 million.
However, the news didn’t impress investors. Trimeris shares plummeted 73 cents, or more than 11 percent, in after-hours trading to $5.64. its 52-week low is $5.34.
On Wednesday, HealthCor Management, which owns some 9 percent of Trimeris shares, formally requested a meeting with management to discuss the company’s prospects.
In an SEC filing, HealthCor wrote: “ …HealthCor is interested in having discussions with the Issuer’s management concerning the Issuer’s current prospects and various strategies for maximizing shareholder value, and has requested a meeting for that purpose with the Issuer’s management. HealthCor may also engage in discussions with other investors of the Company with respect to such factors.
“HealthCor will also continue to evaluate on an ongoing basis the Issuer’s financial condition, business, operations and prospects, the market price for the shares of Common Stock, conditions in the securities markets generally, general economic conditions, conditions affecting the Issuer’s operations and other factors, specifically management’s ability to maximize shareholder value. In particular, HealthCor may purchase additional shares of Common Stock, or may sell or otherwise dispose of all or a portion of the shares of Common Stock, in public and private transactions and/or may enter into negotiated derivative transactions to hedge the market risk of some or all positions in, or to obtain greater exposure to, the shares of the Common Stock. Any such transactions may be effected at any time or from time to time.”
HealthCor paid some $11.4 million, or $5.70 per share, for its Trimeris holdings.
The drug development company reported an $8.2 million profit in the first quarter.
Trimeris reported last month that sales of its HIV drug Fuzeon dipped in the second quarter to $62 million from $64.3 million in the first quarter. Trimeris sells Fuzeon in partnership with Roche.
Earlier this year Roche pulled out of a drug development project with Trimeris, and Trimeris said it accelerated revenue recognition of milestone payments made by Roche. For the first six months of the year, Trimeris reported a profit of $8 million, or 36 cents per share.
Also Thursday, Trimeris said it planned to continue moving ahead with the TRI-144 drug project that Roche abandoned. Preclinical safety testing is continuing, and Trimeris said it planned to file an investigational new drug filing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2008.
According to the company, TRI-144 “has demonstrated excellent antiviral, pharmacokinetic, safety and physical properties.” Trimeris envisions TRI-144 as a once-per-day injection with “minimal to no injection site reactions.”
One of the major criticisms of Fuzeon is that it must be injected twice daily.