PARIS - An unexpected drop in research and development spending helped Paris-based genomics company Genset reduce its net loss to EUR5.9 million ($5.6 million) in the second quarter of 2000 from EUR7.7 million in the first quarter and EUR6.1 million in the second quarter of last year. R&D outlays fell to EUR9.5 million ($9.1 million) in April-June this year from almost EUR12 million in January-March and EUR10.8 million in the second quarter of 1999.

Revenues totaled EUR9.1 million in the second quarter, up 39.5 percent from the corresponding period of 1999, with research and development revenues 37 percent higher at EUR6.2 million (67 percent of the total) and sales of oligonucleotides up 44 percent at EUR3 million. As a result of the drop in R&D spending, total operating expenses were only 5 percent higher than in the second quarter of last year.

For the first half as a whole, Genset's net loss rose by 26.9 percent to EUR13.6 million from EUR10.7 million in the first six months of 1999. As of June 30, the company had cash and cash equivalents of EUR87.3 million, compared with EUR21.1 million at December 31, 1999. That increase was due partly to the issue of $10 million of stock to Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill., in mid-March and partly to a private placement of EUR55.6 million worth of convertible bonds in late June.

CEO Pascal Brandys resigned from his operational duties, effective Aug. 1. He was succeeded by Andre Pernet, formerly with Abbott Laboratories, who became a director of Genset in March - James Etheridge

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