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AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AVEO - Snapshot Report) recently reported second-quarter 2013 loss of 47 cents per share (excluding one-time expenses), narrower than the year-ago loss of 68 cents per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at a loss of 59 cents per share.

The company’s total collaboration revenue for the second quarter was $0.3 million as compared to $1.9 million in the year-ago period. Revenue in the second quarter 2012 was boosted by milestone payments and research funding from partners. The Zacks Consensus Estimate stood at $1 million for the second quarter of 2013.

In the second quarter of 2013, research and development (R&D) expenses were $16.2 million, down 24.5% year over year. The decrease in R&D expenses was primarily because of a decrease in personnel-related expenses. A decrease in number of patients enrolled in studies involving ficlatuzumab and tivozanib also contributed to the reduction in R&D costs. General and administrative expenses decreased 20.3% to $7.3 million, reflecting lower stock-based compensation expense.

At the end of the second quarter of 2013, the company had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $156.2 million. AVEO expects to have cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $115 million at the end of 2013.

In Jun 2013, AVEO received a major setback, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Complete Response letter (CRL) for its oncology candidate, tivozanib. The company was looking to get the drug approved for the treatment of patients suffering from advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The FDA’s decision was not surprising given that in May 2013, FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted against the approval of tivozanib. Following the receipt of the CRL, AVEO decided against pursuing the development of tivozanib for the RCC indication.

The company is evaluating tivozanib for other indications including colorectal (phase II) and breast cancer (phase II). AVEO is developing tivozanib in collaboration with Astellas Pharma, Inc. (ALPMY).

AVEO carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Biogen Idec Inc. look attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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