Cadence Pharmaceuticals 4Q Loss Improves on Drug Launch

Shares of Cadence Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CADX) surged nearly 12% on Friday after the drug maker revealed a slightly better-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, as its injection used to treat pain continued to gain traction in the marketplace.

The San Diego, Calif.-based company posted a net loss of $18.8 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with a loss of $15.3 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

The earnings were narrowly ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of a 34-cent loss.

The development stage company, focused on in-licensing, developing and commercializing product candidates for use in hospitals booked operating expenses of $54.9 million, up from $44.5 million in the year-earlier period, due primarily to increases in sales and marketing costs as a result of preparation for the 2009 commercial launch of Ofirmev.

In a statement, Cadence CEO Ted Schroeder said he was proud of how quickly Ofirmev was launched and excited by the speed at which hospitals are adding the injection.

“We believe that this strong early recognition of the role that Ofirmev may play in addressing the longstanding unmet need to provide improved pain management to hospitalized patients bodes well for broad utilization in U.S. hospitals,” he said.

Ofirmev is an injection used for the management of mild, moderate and severe pain and reduction of fever. Cadence estimates that Ofirmev will be on formulary at about 800 to 1,000 hospitals by the end of this year, representing half of the total U.S. IV analgesic market.