PALATINE, Ill., March 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACUR) today reported a 2010 net loss of $12.7 million or $0.27 per share compared to net loss of $15.8 million or $0.35 per share for 2009. For the quarter ended December 31, 2010, we had a net loss of $2.9 million or $0.06 per share compared to a net loss of $4.1 million or $0.09 per share for the same quarter in 2009.  As of February 28, 2011, we had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $22.2 million with no term indebtedness.  

The 2010 and 2009 results include revenues relating to our License, Development, and Commercialization Agreement (the "Agreement") with King Pharmaceuticals Research and Development, Inc. ("King"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 2010, we recognized revenues of $3.3 million, of which $1.1 million was the amortized portion of the $30.0 million upfront cash payment received from King in December 2007 and $2.2 million was King's reimbursement of our research and development expenses for Acurox ® Tablets. In 2009, we recognized revenues of $3.8 million, of which $3.0 million was the amortized portion of the $30.0 million upfront cash payment received from King in December 2007 and $0.8 million was King's reimbursement of our research and development expenses for Acurox ® Tablets.

Research and development (the "R&D") expense during 2010 and 2009 were primarily focused on product candidates utilizing our Aversion ® and Impede™ Technologies, including costs of clinical trials and related formulation and laboratory costs, salaries and other personnel related expenses, and R&D facility costs. Included in the 2010 and 2009 R&D results are non-cash stock-based compensation charges of $1.7 million and $1.9 million, respectively, associated with the grant of stock options and restricted stock units. Excluding the stock-based compensation expense, in 2010 there was a $1.7 million increase in R&D expenses compared to 2009 primarily attributable to our ongoing development activities for our benzodiazepine product candidate, the initiation of early stage development of an extended release opioid product candidate, and the development of our Impede™ pseudoephedrine hydrochloride tablet product.

Marketing expenses during 2010 and 2009 consisted primarily of Aversion ® Technology customized market research. Our general and administrative expenses primarily consisted of legal, audit and other professional fees, corporate insurance, and payroll. Included in the 2010 and 2009 results are non-cash stock-based compensation charges of $5.1 million and $7.3 million, respectively, associated with the grant of stock options and restricted stock units. Excluding the stock-based compensation expense, there was a decrease of $0.6 million in marketing, general and administrative expenses in 2010 compared to 2009.

Results for the year and quarter ended December 31, 2009 include an income tax charge of $2.5 million arising from changes in the deferred income tax asset valuation reserve associated with net operating loss carryforwards. 

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