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Variagenics Losses Narrow as Revenues Surge

NEW YORK, Oct 31 –Pharmacogenomics technology company Variagenics of Cambridge, Mass., said Tuesday strong revenue growth helped to the company to narrow its third quarter net losses to $6.4 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with losses of $6.6 million, or $10.75 a share a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter jumped to $763,000 from $85,000 a year ago, as the result of milestone payments form several partnerships.

During the quarter Variagenics reached a second performance milestone through the delivery of 17 validated genotyping assays to Covance for use in clinical trials, bringing the total to 33. Covance also expanded its earlier agreement with Variagenics, increasing funding by an undisclosed amount for the development genotyping assays.

Variagenics also received a cash payment of $3.0 million from Waters Corporation resulting from an alliance to develop and market NuCleave, a genotyping and haplotyping technology that combines Variagenics' high-throughput chemical cleavage genotypying and haplotying technologies with Waters DNA sample purification technology. Variagenics expects to launch NuCleave in the fourth quarter.

Variagenics could receive up to $4.0 million in milestone payments and will receive royalties on net sales of the NuCleave reagent kits, the company said.

The signed an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals to apply its proprietary platform to the development of a new therapeutic candidate.

Variagenics’ operating expenses reached $7.4 million in the quarter, compared with $5.56 million a year ago. Expenditures for R&D were up to $2.17 million, from $1.64 million. General and administrative costs increased to $1.73 million, compared with $873,000. The company posted a " special charge" of $1.84 million in the third quarter of 1999 that it did not have in the same period this year.

The company ended the third quarter with $101.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, which includes $73.1 million from its initial public offering and a $7.5 million private placement with Waters Corporation, both completed in July 2000.

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