NEW YORK, May 9 Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.(Nasdaq: KERX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition,development and commercialization of medically important, novel pharmaceuticalproducts for the treatment of life-threatening diseases, including renaldisease and cancer, today announced its results for the first quarter endedMarch 31, 2008.
At March 31, 2008, the Company had cash, cash equivalents, investmentsecurities, interest receivable and license receivable of $47.6 million, ascompared to $64.7 million at December 31, 2007. In April 2008, we received apayment of $8.0 million that was classified as a license receivable at March31, 2008. The payment was made pursuant to the September 2007 licensingagreement among Keryx, Japan Tobacco Inc. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
The net loss for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008 was $34,536,000,or $0.79 per share, compared to a net loss of $21,813,000, or $0.50 per share,for the first quarter in 2007, representing an increase in net loss of$12,723,000. The increase in net loss was primarily attributable to costsassociated with the cessation of our development of Sulonex. Such costsincluded an $11,037,000 non-cash impairment charge related to the write-downof the assets of the Sulonex manufacturing suite to their estimated fair value,and a $2,063,000 provision for estimated costs relating to the requiredrestoration of the manufacturing facility to its original condition, partiallyoffset by a decrease of $2,264,000 in non-cash compensation expense, primarilyrelated to stock options and restricted stock previously issued to ourPresident, whose employment was terminated as part of our restructuring. Theincrease in net loss also included a $1,811,000 impairment charge related toour investments in auction rate securities due to their current lack ofliquidity.
Commenting on the quarter, Michael S. Weiss, Keryx's Chairman and ChiefExecutive Officer, said, "The first quarter of 2008 has been the mostchallenging one for the Company since I joined back in 2002. However, withthe restructuring now substantially complete, I believe that Keryx is nowwell-positioned to move Zerenex and Perifosine forward through advancedclinical development." Weiss continued, "On the financial side, with respectto our strategic licensing arrangement for Zerenex in Japan, the Company hasreceived an additional $8 million milestone payment from JT/Torii and, coupledwith our existing cash resources and reduced overhead structure, we believethat we are well-positioned to focus our resources on creating value in ourdrug candidates."
On Monday, May 12, 2008, at 8:30am EDT, the Company will host an investorconference call to provide a brief financial overview of the Company's firstquarter financial results.
In order to participate in the conference call, please call 1-800-723-6575(U.S.), 1-785-830-1997 (outside the U.S.), call-in ID: KERYX. The audiorecording of the conference call will be available for replay athttp://www.keryx.com, for a period of 15 days after the call.
ABOUT KERYX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals is focused on the acquisition, development andcommercialization of medically important, novel pharmaceutical products forthe treatment of life-threatening diseases, including renal disease and cancer.Keryx is developing Zerenex(TM) (ferric citrate), an oral, iron-based compoundthat has the capacity to bind to phosphate and form non-absorbable complexes.Zerenex is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment ofhyperphosphatemia (elevated phosphate levels) in patients with end-stage renaldisease. The Company is also developing KRX-0401 (perifosine), a novel,potentially first-in-class, oral anti-cancer agent that modulates Akt, aprotein in the body associated with tumor survival and growth. KRX-0401 alsomodulates a number of other key si