BELLUS HEALTH reports results for first quarter of fiscal 2008
Monday May 5, 4:50 pm ET
LAVAL, QC, May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - BELLUS Health Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUS; TSX: BLU, formerly known as Neurochem Inc.) reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008. The Company reported a net loss of $12,902,000 ($0.26 per share) for the quarter, compared to $21,016,000 ($0.54 per share) for the same period the previous year. The decrease in the net loss is mainly due to a reduction in research and development (R&D) expenses, before research tax credits and grants, which amounted to $8,780,000 this quarter, compared to $16,828,000 for the same period the previous year. The decrease in R&D expenses is mainly attributable to a reduction in expenses incurred in relation to the development of tramiprosate (ALZHEMED(TM); homotaurine) for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, following the Company's decision in November 2007 to terminate the tramiprosate (ALZHEMED(TM)) pharmaceutical drug development program and to take steps to commercialize homotaurine (VIVIMIND(TM)) as a branded nutraceutical.
As at March 31, 2008, the Company had available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $43,448,000, compared to $58,672,000 at December 31, 2007. BELLUS Health is expecting to further reduce its burn rate during fiscal 2008.
Consolidated Financial Results Highlights
The shareholders of Neurochem Inc. approved the change of its name to "BELLUS Health Inc." at the Annual and Special Shareholders' Meeting on April 15, 2008. The new stock ticker symbols, BLUS (NASDAQ) and BLU (TSX), came into use on April 21, 2008.
The Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) provides a review of the Company's operations, performance and financial position for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, compared with the quarter ended March 31, 2007. It should be read in conjunction with the Company's unaudited consolidated financial statements for the three-month period ended March 31, 2008, as well as the Company's audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2007, which have been prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). For discussion regarding related-party transactions, contractual obligations, disclosure controls and procedures, internal control over financial reporting, critical accounting policies and estimates, recent accounting pronouncements, and risks and uncertainties, refer to the Annual Report and the Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2007, as well as registration statements and other public filings, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com - or on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. This document contains forward-looking statements, which are qualified by reference to, and should be read together with the "Forward-Looking Statements" cautionary notice, which can be found at the end of this MD&A. This MD&A was prepared by management with information available as of May 5, 2008.
As previously reported, effective July 1, 2007, the Company adopted the US dollar as its functional and reporting currency, as a significant portion of its revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities and financing are denominated in US dollars. All currency figures reported in this document, including comparative figures, are reported in US dollars, unless otherwise specified.
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