Aratana sees loss grow as its pipeline gets deeper

Aratana Therapeutics ($PETX) reported a net loss of $9.3 million for the second quarter, but with 15 drugs for companion animals in active development and 12 clinical trials currently going on, CEO Steven St. Peter is optimistic about the Kansas City, KS-based company's focus on pet oncology and pain management.

"We've never seen the animal health companies approach the biotechs about innovation for pets. The reason for that is that the industry is dominated by the food production segment," St. Peter told FierceAnimalHealth. "Focusing on pain management and cancer--two huge areas--we look for different modalities in pain and cancer to deal with that."

The loss for the quarter was more than twice the $4.2 million loss in the same quarter a year ago, as was the H1 loss of $18.4 million, which compared to a loss of $8.3 million in the first half of last year. It reported revenue of $300,000 for the quarter and $500,000 for the first half of the year. The company said most of that is tied to R&D collaboration revenue from AT-006, an antiviral for treatment of ocular lesions associated with feline ocular herpes infection as well as some license and collaboration fees related to AT-004, a B-cell monoclonal antibody for lymphoma that also is under development. R&D expenses totaled $4.3 million for the quarter and $7.9 million for the first half of the year. The company said that as of June 30, it had about $70.7 million in cash and equivalents on hand. 

Last month, Aratana filed a proprietary HER2/neu-directed cancer immunotherapy for the treatment of canine osteosarcoma, ADXS-cHER2, with the USDA on behalf of vaccine developer Advaxis ($ADXS). The company is currently enrolling dogs in two studies investigating the use of AT-005, Aratana's conditionally licensed monoclonal antibody for treatment of T-cell lymphoma, in combination with chemotherapy. 

"We approach pet medical needs with therapeutics shown to be safe and effective and approved by regulatory authority," St. Peter told FierceAnimalHealth.

- here's the earnings report release