ImmunoGen takes wider 1st-qtr loss as costs grow

WALTHAM, Mass. -- ImmunoGen Inc. on Friday said that its fiscal first quarter loss widened 29 percent, as it spent more money developing its experimental drugs.

ImmunoGen said its research and development costs rose almost 40 percent in the June-to-September period, as it studied potential treatments for lung cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and solid tumors. It expects to report clinical trial data for several of those drugs in 2013.

ImmunoGen also helped develop the breast cancer drug T-DM1, and its partner Roche filed for marketing approval in the U.S. and Europe in August.

ImmunoGen does not have any products on the market, and many of its drugs are being developed through partnerships with bigger companies like Roche, Sanofi, and Amgen Inc. It said its most advanced wholly-owned drug is IMGN901, which is in mid-stage testing as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.

The company posted a loss of $25.2 million, or 30 cents per share, in the period. A year ago, it recorded a loss of $19.5 million, or 26 cents per share.

And 9 percent hike in the number of outstanding shares since last year shaved about 3 cents off the loss on a per-share basis.

Revenue rose to $4.1 million, from $2.5 million as the company received greater reimbursements for clinical material.

Analysts expected ImmunoGen to report a loss of 25 cents per share and $4.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

T-DM1 is a drug that combines trastuzumab, the main ingredient in Roche's drug Herceptin, with a second drug and a chemical that keeps the drugs linked until they reach a cancer cell, where the cocktail can be released. ImmunoGen developed the technology that combined the drugs, and it will get royalty payments on sales if the product is approved.

Shares of ImmunoGen closed at $13.78 on Thursday. Shares fell 58 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $13.20 in premarket trading.