Chapel Hill pharmaceutical company Pozen narrowed its losses in the third quarter.
Pozen reported Thursday that it posted a loss of $5.7 million, or 19 cents per share, versus a loss of $7.1 million a year ago.
Revenue totaled $940,000 in royalty payments from sales of Vimovo, an arthritis pain reliever licensed to AstraZeneca.
The company posted $4.9 million in revenue a year ago, but $4.1 million of that came from royalties on sales of Treximet, a migraine drug sold by GlaxoSmithKline. In November Pozen sold off most of the future royalty payments from Treximet for $75 million.
Vimovo sales totaled $13.4 million in the third quarter, up 38 percent from a year ago but a decline of 19 percent from the second quarter. The product is sold in 40 countries worldwide.
Liz Cermak, chief commercial officer, said during a conference call said that U.S. sales of Vimovo "continue to disappoint."
Noting that AstraZeneca is boosting its marketing efforts, she added, "We look forward to seeing the results."
On Tuesday Pozen reported encouraging new test results for its experimental cardiovascular drug PA32540. The tests of the drug-- which combines a modified version of the active ingredient in Prilosec, a proton-pump inhibitor, with aspirin -- showed that patients experienced fewer gastric ulcers and were less likely to stop their medication due to adverse side effects than those who took enteric-coated aspirin alone.
Pozen also is developing PA8140, which combines modified Prilosec with a lower aspirin dose. It expects to file for marketing approval for both PA32540 and PA8140 -- one application would cover both drug dosages -- with the Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2013.
Pozen estimates that if it charged patients $1 per day for PA32540 and PA8140 and achieved just a 5 percent share of the market, sales could reach $400 million a year.
The company also reported Thursday that it expects to close a licensing deal for its cardiovascular drug next year.
Operating expenses in the third quarter were $23.4 million, down from $33.2 million a year ago, thanks largely to reduced development costs for PA32540.
Pozen shares were trading at $5.39, down 2 cents, at mid-day Thursday. Its shares have risen 36 percent this year.