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Vical's Loss Narrower than Expected

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Vical Inc. (VICL - Free Report) suffered a net loss per share of 9 cents in the fourth quarter of 2012, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 10 cents per share but flat year over year.

Vical reported revenues of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, up 20% from a year ago and beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.0 million.

Contract and grant revenues came in at $1.9 million, up 18.1% from a year-ago. License and royalty revenues came in at $0.4 million, up 29.7% from a year-ago.

Research & Development decreased 13.3% to $3.4 million. General and administrative increased to $2.7 million.

For 2012, net loss came in at 27 cents per share wider than a loss of 10 cents in 2011 due to lower license revenues. The loss was however narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 35 cents per share.

For 2012, revenues were $17.5 million, down 41.7% from a year ago due to lower payments from partner Astellas Pharma Inc.

Vical has a license agreement with Astellas Pharma for the development and commercialization of the candidate TransVax. TransVax, a first-in-class DNA vaccine, is currently in a late stage study for the prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation in transplant recipients.

Vical Inc. specializes in the research and development of biopharmaceutical drugs, which are based on the company’s patented DNA delivery technologies, for the prevention and treatment of life threatening diseases like cancer. 

Vical received a $25.0 million upfront license payment from Astellas in 2011, a $10.0 million milestone license payment in 2012 and increased contract revenues from Astellas for the delivery of clinical trial material for planned TransVax trials.

Astellas intends to commence a phase III study of TransVax in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients and a phase II study of TransVax for solid organ transplant recipients soon in the first half of 2013. 

Vical signed an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Free Report) in Sep 2012 providing the latter with a global, non-exclusive license to its patented platform DNA immunization technology and Vaxfectin adjuvant. The company plans to further invest in its pipeline in 2013.

Vical currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, Aeterna Zentars (AEZS - Free Report) is better placed with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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