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Santarus Posts Narrower Loss

Acid reflux treatment Zegerid boosts second-quarter results, but the company pulls 2008 sales guidance.



narrowed its loss and beat analyst estimates but gave up ground Monday after retracting 2008 estimates due to generic and branded competition and pricing pressure from managed care plans.

The specialty pharmaceutical company, which makes acid reflux treatment Zegerid, said that the benefits of its sales force expansion are being impacted by stronger-than-expected growth in generic omeprazole and its impact on proton-pump inhibitors and competitive pricing pressures from managed care plans.

"In light of these changing market dynamics, among other factors, the company no longer has sufficient clarity to provide specific revenue guidance for 2008," the company said in a press release.

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However, Santarus said it continues to expect to break even in the second half of 2008. The company had previously expected revenue in excess of $200 million in 2008.

Santarus reported losing $12.9 million, or 25 cents a share, compared to a loss of $16.7 million, or 36 cents a share, in the comparable 2006 quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected a loss of 31 cents a share for the quarter on revenue of $22.2 million.

Quarterly revenue was $20.7 million, compared with $9.4 million in the second quarter of 2006. Net product sales, including those for Zegerid, were $18.8 million, a 117% increase from $8.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Contract revenue was $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2007 and $715,000 in the prior-year period.

Looking ahead, the company still expects a net loss of $55 million to $60 million on revenue of $90 million to $95 million for fiscal 2007.

Santarus shares fell $1.31, or 25.4%, to $3.85 in Monday morning trading.