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Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PPHM - Snapshot Report) reported a net loss of 6 cents per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 (ended Apr 30, 2013), in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The fourth quarter loss was however narrower than the year-ago loss of 10 cents. The narrower year-over-year loss was primarily due to higher revenues.

Peregrine Pharma’s adjusted net loss for fiscal year 2013 of 23 cents per share was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 22 cents but narrower than the year-ago loss of 50 cents. Revenues for the year increased 42.3% to $21.7 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $20 million.

Avid Bioservices, a Peregrine Pharma subsidiary, posted a 44% increase in revenues to $21.3 million in fiscal 2013, the highest reported amount in Avid’s history.

Quarter in Details

Fourth quarter fiscal 2013 revenues of Peregrine Pharma increased 106% to $4.6 million, edging past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4 million. The top-line increase was mainly due to the rise in contract manufacturing revenue.

Avid Bioservices posted contract manufacturing revenues of $4.2 million during the quarter. For fiscal 2014, Peregrine expects contract manufacturing revenue in the range of $18−$22 million.

Peregrine Pharma’s total costs and expenses decreased 1.8% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 to $12.7 million. Although research and development expenses decreased 34.7% to $5.8 million, selling, general and administrative expenses were up 18.6% to $3.7 million.

Peregrine Pharma’s lead pipeline candidate, bavituximab, is being developed for multiple oncology indications including the treatment of second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Peregrine expects to initiate a phase III study on the candidate for this indication by the end of calendar 2013.

Earlier in the year, the company entered into an agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to design a phase III trial of bavituximab in second-line NSCLC. The phase III randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=600) will be evaluating the combination of bavituximab and Sanofi’s (SNY - Analyst Report) Taxotere (docetaxel) in comparison to Taxotere and placebo.

Overall survival is the primary endpoint of the study. We expect that investor focus will remain on the development path of bavituximab.

Peregrine, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Biopharma companies, such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ - Analyst Report), and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY - Analyst Report) look equally attractive.

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