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Optison records modest growth for MBI

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The long-term potential of ultrasound contrast agents may be great, but ultrasound practitioners appear to be taking a measured approach to the technology, if the third-quarter financial results of Molecular Biosystems are any indication. The San Diego

The long-term potential of ultrasound contrast agents may be great, but ultrasound practitioners appear to be taking a measured approach to the technology, if the third-quarter financial results of Molecular Biosystems are any indication. The San Diego ultrasound contrast developer this month released financial results for the quarter (end-September) that show only a slight increase in sales of its Optison contrast agent.

For the period, MBI had product and royalty revenues of $1.41 million, most of which were Optison sales. This compares with product and royalty revenues of $1.37 million in the second quarter of 1998. MBI and marketing partner Mallinckrodt of St. Louis launched Optison in January.

MBI recorded total third-quarter revenues of $2.7 million, compared with sales of $1.4 million in the third quarter of 1997. The company posted a net loss of $7.1 million in the most recent period, compared with a loss of $4.6 million in the same period a year ago.

MBI president and CEO Bobba Venkatadri acknowledged that sales of Optison are growing at a modest pace, but he said the company remains confident in the agent’s long-term potential. Shares of MBI fell 13% to close at $3.38 on Oct. 21, the day the news was announced.

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