Optimer Pharma’s (OPTR) third quarter loss per share came in at 28 cents, better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 36 cents and loss of 31 cents reported in the year-ago period. The company does not have any marketed products at present; it derives revenues primarily in the form of research grants and from collaborative agreements. 

The company reported revenues of $0.18 million, a decline of 26.3% compared to the corresponding quarter of last year. We believe current investor focus is more on the development of the company’s portfolio rather than the financials. 

Operating expenses during the quarter were $9.6 million, marginally down from $9.8 million reported in the year ago period. While R&D and marketing expenses did not change much, general and administrative expenses increased 31% compared to the third quarter of 2008. Optimer, in addition to posting third quarterly results, provided an update on its pipeline. The company has two late-stage anti-infective product candidates, fidaxomicin and Pruvel (prulifloxacin) for the treatment of clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) and travelers’ diarrhea, a form of infectious diarrhea, respectively. Currently, enrollment of the second phase III trial of fidaxomicin is continuing, which the company expects to complete by year end and anticipates reporting top-line data in the first quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, Optimer is seeking suitable partnership deals for this compound.
Earlier, last month Optimer presented favorable phase III data on fidaxomicin in patients with clostridium difficile infection (CDI). It was observed that patients treated with fidaxomicin experienced a rapid relief from diarrhea compared to those treated with vancomycin. Although we are optimistic about the prospects of both fidaxomicin and prulifloxacin in terms of their clinical trial results and US Food and Drug Administration approval, we remain concerned about the competition in the CDAD and infectious diarrhea market due to the presence of many players.
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