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Strong Sales for Amylin

But the company's fourth-quarter loss is wider than expected.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals


said its fourth-quarter sales beat Wall Street's expectations, but its loss was worse than the consensus forecast.

The San Diego-based company, which has two diabetes drugs on the market, reported a loss of $67.2 million, or 61 cents a share, on revenue of $63.5 million for the fourth quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 59 cents a share on revenue of $49 million.

For the same period in 2004, Amylin lost $46.4 million, or 49 cents a share, with revenue of $6.6 million.

Amylin has two drugs that help diabetics control their blood sugar levels -- Symlin, which Amylin markets by itself, and Byetta, whose marketing and development partner is

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Eli Lilly and Company Report

. Byetta was isolated from the saliva of the

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Gila monster.

"As we enter 2006, demand for both products continues to accelerate," said Ginger L. Graham, Amylin's chief executive.

Amylin and Lilly are working with


(ALKS) - Get Alkermes Plc Report

on a

once-a-week version of Byetta, which now must be injected twice a day.

Amylin's losses widened thanks to higher selling, general and administrative expenses, which rose to $57.1 million in the fourth quarter vs. $20.2 million during the same period in 2004. Amylin spent more to launch the two products in the U.S. last year. The higher costs included hiring and training sales representatives, increasing customer service activities and expanding medical education efforts.

For all of 2005, Amylin lost $206.8 million, or $1.96 a share, on revenue of $140.5 million. For 2004, it lost $157.2 million, or $1.67 a share, and had sales of $34.3 million.

Amylin released its financial results after the markets had closed. In regular trading, the stock gained 95 cents, or 2.6%, to close at $38.10. After hours, the stock rose another $1.62.