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Drugmaker Acorda Therapeutics Inc. said Thursday that its first-quarter loss narrowed on a surge in sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra.

The company reported a net loss of $672,000, or 2 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31 compared with a net loss of $21.1 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue surged to $61.3 million from $17.7 million, mainly on sales of Ampyra, which was launched in March of 2010.

Excluding the cost of share-based compensation, the company said it earned 8 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected profit of 17 cents per share on $62.4 million in revenue.

Ampyra revenue rose to $46.8 million from $3.1 million and revenue from the muscle-relaxing drug Zenaflex fell slightly to $12.2 million. License and royalty revenue remained flat at about $2.4 million.

Operating expenses rose 61 percent to $60.9 million as the company boosted its marketing and sales activities for Ampyra.

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