ImClone Systems'

(IMCL)

fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to $30.5 million, or 42 cents per share, boosted by milestone payments for its experimental cancer drug, Erbitux, paid by partner

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

.

The biotech firm lost $33.7 million, or 52 cents per share, in the fourth quarter last year.

ImClone and Bristol-Myers are trying to get Erbitux back on track after the Food and Drug Administration rejected the drug's approval application in December. The drug's rejection and its aftermath has wreaked havoc with ImClone shares, pushing the stock down more than 60% in the past three months. ImClone is up 19 cents to $25.24 per share in recent Tuesday trading.

ImClone revenue during the fourth quarter increased to $2.3 million from $153,000 in the year-ago quarter. Nearly all of the revenue in the fourth quarter came from Bristol-Myers. On the other side of the ledger, research and development costs rose to $26.5 million in the quarter, compared to $21 million last year, because of higher costs related to Erbitux.

Analysts were expecting Imclone to lose 28 cents per share in the fourth quarter, according to consensus estimates compiled by Thomson Financial/First Call. But with no product-generated revenue and Erbitux's approval still in flux, ImClone's quarterly financial performance is relatively unimportant.