Cipher Pharmaceuticals turns Q1 profit on strength of anti-cholesterol med

Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:DND) has credited strong performance by its anti-cholesterol medication Lipofen for a big turnaround in first-quarter earnings. 

The Ontario-based speciality pharmaceutical company said it earned net income of $125,000 or a penny per share in the three months ended March 31. That compared with a net loss of $1.1 million or five cents in the year-ago period. 

Licensing revenue almosty tripled to $1.8 million, up 163 per cent from $675,000 in the prior-year period, with Lipofen leading the way. 

"Revenue grew strongly in the first quarter based on Lipofen's performance and early contributions from ConZipa," a pain medication recently launched in the United States," president and CEO Larry Andrews said. 

"In addition, with the launch of Durelaa (ConZipa) in Canada, we now have multiple royalty revenue streams contributing to our results as we await U.S. regulatory approval for CIP-Isotretinoin, our promising product for the treatment of acne." 

Revenue from Lipofen increased to $1.4 million in the quarter compared with $600,000 a year earlier, reflecting a strong performance by Cipher's U.S. partner, Kowa Pharmaceuticals. It also reflected the achievement of a contractual net sales milestone, which contributed $500,000 in revenue.

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