Drugmaker Elan reports 3Q loss on hefty charges

Elan Corp. PLC reported a third-quarter loss Wednesday, as heavy charges tied to a business spinoff and the discontinuation of an Alzheimer's drug study weighed on the Irish drugmaker's performance.

The company said in August it plans to spin off a large portion of its drug discovery business into a new, publicly traded company. Elan plans to keep its multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri and an equity stake in the new company, Neotope Biosciences PLC, which will aim to create therapies for chronic degenerative diseases and other disease-related areas.

Elan expects to complete the spinoff by the end of the year. It said Wednesday it booked $100.3 million in charges tied to a restructuring related to this move.

The drugmaker also booked a $117.3 million charge in the quarter after Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc. said they were stopping a late-stage study of the potential Alzheimer's treatment bapineuzumab. Elan had licensed the drug's rights to J&J.

Overall, Elan lost $229.9 million, or 38 cents per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30. That compares to earnings of $674.1 million, or $1.14 per share, in last year's quarter.

Revenue climbed 10 percent to $306.6 million, with nearly all of that coming from Tysabri sales. Elan markets Tysabri in the U.S. after buying its supply from Biogen Idec. Biogen sells the drug in other markets and pays royalties to Elan.

The company said about 71,000 patients were being treated with Tysabri at the end of the quarter. That's up 13 percent from a year ago.

U.S.-traded shares of Elan fell 17 cents to $10.70 in late-morning trading.