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Pozen reports drop in first-quarter revenue

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Pozen reported weaker first-quarter revenue this morning, as the Chapel Hill company waits for its pain medicines to increase in popularity among physicians and patients.

Larger partners GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are selling Pozen's Treximet migraine treatment and Vimovo arthritis pain reliever. Pozen receives royalties from the sales.

Vimovo won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a year ago, and AstraZeneca is running a major marketing campaign with ads in newspapers and national magazines such as Newsweek. But sales of the drug, a pain reliever that decreases the risk of gastric ulcers in arthritis patients, have been slow to start.

Pozen received royalties of $400,000 from AstraZeneca for Vimovo sales during the first quarter.

Total revenue during the first three months of this year was $4.5 million, mostly from Treximet royalties. That was down 35 percent from a year ago, when Pozen received milestone payments from AstraZeneca.

Pozen reported a first-quarter net loss of $5.7 million, nearly double the loss a year ago.

Pozen is spending millions to develop new drugs, including a safer form of aspirin. If that product wins regulatory approval and is successful, it would result in a larger potential revenue source because the company plans to commercialize the drug itself, rather than relying on a larger partner.

Pozen shares fell 3 cents to close at $5.90 today. The stock is down 36 percent in the past year.

Pozen officials, including founder and CEO John Plachetka, discussed the latest financial results at 11 a.m. Listen to a replay here.

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About the blogger

Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf joined the N&O in 1999 covering the business of health care. He became an editor in 2001, and helps oversee the paper's daily business coverage and Sunday Work&Money section. He lives in Clayton with his wife and two children. Reach him at 919-829-4572 or e-mail him.