Drug developer Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. said today it expects a higher net loss in 2008 as it continues research and development and defers revenue from a Merck & Co. partnership.
The company expects a loss between $81 million and $84 million in 2008, compared to an estimated loss of $57 million to $58 million in 2007.
Ariad said it will end 2007 with about $85 million in cash and marketable securities. Meanwhile, it will spend between $41 million and $44 million in 2008 for operations, compared with $41 million to $42 million in 2007.
The company's lead drug candidate is deforolimus, aimed at starving cancer tumors of a protein called mTOR. The drug is being developed with Merck and is in late-stage clinical trials as a treatment for bone and connective tissue cancers.
Ariad said its share of deforolimus development costs in 2007 and 2008 will be between $46 million and $50 million. But, that will be offset by projected milestone payments of $43.5 million by Merck. Between 2009 and 2010 the development costs will range from $110 million to $122 million, offset by Merck payments between $100 million to $125 million.
The company said it will focus on building up a commercial infrastructure for deforolimus in 2008 while continuing to build its cancer treatment pipeline. The partnership with Merck calls for testing deforolimus in five separate cancer indications. Ariad also plans to start an early-stage study of its second drug candidate, AP24534, in 2008. (AP)