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Loss Widens at Onyx

The company's fourth-quarter loss is also wider than expected.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals


reported a wider-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter and didn't record any revenue, even though analysts thought it would.

The Emeryville, Calif., biopharmaceuticals company lost $38.4 million, or $1 a share, for the fourth quarter, compared with the year-earlier loss of $14.2 million, or 40 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 88 cents a share and revenue of $2.35 million.

Onyx had revenue of $500,000 for the 2004 quarter as a result of a milestone payment from Warner-Lambert, a unit of


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The results for the quarter included expenses related to the development and commercialization for the cancer drug Nexavar. Onyx is co-promoting the drug with pharmaceuticals giant



in preparation for a proposed U.S. launch of the drug.

"As we believe that Nexavar has potential activity in a number of tumor types, we have a broad clinical development program under way evaluating Nexavar both as a single agent and in combination with other anticancer therapies," said Onyx chairman and CEO Hollings Renton. "With Bayer, we are making a long-term investment in Nexavar intended to demonstrate its full value, both therapeutically and commercially."

Onyx saw higher costs resulting from expenses associated with its phase III trial of Nexavar in kidney cancer and expanded trials in liver cancer and metastatic melanoma.

Earlier in the day, Onyx and Bayer announced the initiation of a trial of Nexavar in lung cancer. Shares of Onyx fell 23 cents to $28.53 in the regular session and dipped another 23 cents to $28.30 after the close.