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N. American Vaccine net loss $23.4 million; Company attributes jump in revenue to launch of children's inoculation; Pharmaceuticals


Columbia-based North American Vaccine Inc. reported yesterday that its fourth-quarter net loss almost doubled to $23.4 million, or 73 cents per share, on revenue of $3.3 million.

In comparison, the company had a net loss of $13.1 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenue of $612,000 for the same period in 1997.

The company said that its fourth-quarter loss included a $12 million interest charge. Without the charge, the loss would have been $11.5 million, or 36 cents per share, North American said.

The interest charge, North American said, is tied to a stock conversion feature of convertible secured notes the cash-strapped company issued in November when it borrowed $25 million from two of its largest shareholders.

The company attributed the jump in revenue primarily to its first sales of Certiva, a vaccine for children that provides protection against whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus. The vaccine wasapproved for sale in the United States in July and the company began selling and shipping it in November.

Since Certiva's launch, the company said, it booked $1.2 million in Certiva sales in the United States. The company said that for the year it booked $1 million from sales of a whooping cough vaccine in Europe and $6.2 million in revenue from research-and-development agreements it has with other companies.

For the year ending Dec. 31, North American reported a net loss of $56.6 million, or $1.76 per share, compared with a net loss of $43.8 million, for the 1997 fiscal year.

Without the effect of the $12 million interest charge, the company said, the year-end loss would have been $44.6 million.

Operating costs for the year dropped to $47.9 million, from $49.9 million for the same 12 months of 1997.

The company reported that as of Dec. 31 it had $22.9 million in cash on hand, compared with $45.5 million on hand at the same time in 1997.

Lawrence J. Hineline, the company's vice president for finance, did not return a phone call for comment.

Shares in North American closed yesterday at $7.125, down 12 1/2 cents.

Pub Date: 1/23/99

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