MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) ¿ Vivus Inc. on Monday said it moved to a loss in the fourth quarter, as the biopharmaceutical company spent twice as much on research and development as it did a year ago.

Most of the development work involved Vivus' lead drug candidate, Qnexa. The company conducting late stage clinical trials of Qnexa for obesity, and mid stage trials as a type 2 diabetes treatment.

For the quarter, Vivus reported a loss of $6.7 million, or 10 cents per share. A year ago the company earned $10.4 million, or 17 cents per share. Revenue declined 3 percent to $28.8 million from $29.8 million, as product sales decreased and license revenue was virtually unchanged.

Analysts expected the company to break even in the quarter on a per-share basis, and they expected $26.8 million in revenue.

Vivus said its research and development costs doubled to $22.7 million in the quarter. It also posted $3.3 million in interest expenses.

In 2008, Vivus lost $9.9 million, or 16 cents per share. That compares with a smaller loss of $2.4 million, or 4 cents per share, in 2007. Revenue jumped 87 percent, to $102.2 million from $54.7 million.

In aftermarket trading, Vivus shares picked up a penny to $3.05.

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