5 de agosto de 2008 / 17:45 / en 9 años

UPDATE 2-Acadia Q2 loss widens, to halve workforce; shares drop

(Recasts; adds analysts’ comments, background; updates share movement)

By Anand Basu

BANGALORE, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc (ACAD.O) posted a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss as research and development expenses rose, and said it will cut its work force by about half to 65 employees in a restructuring move, sending its shares down more than 17 percent to a lifetime low.

The San Diego, California-based company said it would take restructuring-related charges of about $2 million to $2.5 million in the third quarter.

The company will focus on developing a portfolio of its four most advanced product candidates, consisting of two internal compounds as well as two partnered compounds that are funded by Allergan Inc (AGN.N).

Acadia has recently been plagued with bad news. In June Acadia said its experimental schizophrenia drug did not improve symptoms of the disease in a clinical trial.

The company, which has lost 85 percent of its market value over the past year, has also frustrated investors by not finding a partner to develop its lead product, pimavanserin, for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis as well as schizophrenia.

Analysts, who have been skeptical about Acadia’s chances of finding a partner to develop pimavanserin, said in spite of the proposed restructuring they do not see a partner entering the picture until the completion of a late-stage study of the drug.

“It appears to us that big pharma is currently not biting or the terms have been unacceptable to Acadia,” Canaccord Adams analyst Joseph Pantginis said in a note to clients.

But Needham & Co analyst Alan Carr said the restructuring may yet be of some help. “I think it makes sense to focus on a couple of key units and to conserve resources,” he said.

R&D COSTS HIT Q2

The biotechnology company reported a second-quarter net loss of $18.3 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with a loss of $10.8 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 91 percent to $177,000.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 46 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $1.4 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Acadia’s research and development expenses rose 40 percent to $16 million during the quarter.

Shares of the company fell to an all-time low of $2.32, before pulling back some of their losses to trade down 43 cents to $2.38 Monday afternoon on Nasdaq. (Editing by Mike Miller, Pratish Narayanan)

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