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NEW YORK, June 5 - Lion Bioscience today reported ballooning fourth-quarter net loss as a doubling in R&D overpowered modest revenue growth.
In addition, Lion, signaling a change in business strategy, said it may sell off its drug-discovery unit in an effort to reign in net loss and reach profitability.
Total revenue in the quarter ended March 31 increased to €11 million, or roughly $10.3 million, from €7.8 million in the year-ago period, Lion said.
Research and development expenses in the fourth quarter 2002 nearly doubled to €16 million from €8.8 million year over year. As a result, net loss for the quarter swelled to €23.4 million, or €1.22 per share, from €3.5 million, or €.19 per share, one year ago, the company added.
Lion said it had €19.2 million cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.
The German bioinformatics company indicated it is actively looking for a partner or investor for its drug-discovery unit, and may even sell the business outright in a move to improve profitability. The firm said it plans to concentrate less on its iD3 platform and instead focus on its core IT business.
Lion CEO Friedrich von Bohlen said at a news conference in Heidelberg that the company is in talks to find a solution for the drug-discovery business and wants to reach an agreement by the end of the year, Dow Jones Newswires reported this morning.
The firm reiterated its goal of breaking even by the end of fiscal 2004, and expects "moderate" revenue growth for the current fiscal year.
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