Red ink continues to flow at MBI

February 3, 1999

Ultrasound contrast agent developer Molecular Biosystems remains beset by heavy losses, despite signs of increasing market interest in its Optison ultrasound contrast agent. MBI, which announced a restructuring plan in November to reduce its high

Ultrasound contrast agent developer Molecular Biosystems remains beset by heavy losses, despite signs of increasing market interest in its Optison ultrasound contrast agent. MBI, which announced a restructuring plan in November to reduce its high cash-burn rate (SCAN 11/25/98), reported a net loss of $11.9 million during its fiscal third quarter (end-December), compared with a net loss of $5.9 million in the same period in 1997. Revenues were $2.2 million, compared with $1.4 million last year. Optison sales totaled $509,000 during the quarter.

The news wasn't all negative, however. The San Diego firm reported a 37% increase in end-user demand for Optison, representing the fourth straight quarter of growing acceptance and demand for the agent, according to MBI. This increased demand has not benefited the firm's financial results, as inventories already sold to the distribution channel were sufficient to meet the demand, according to the firm. If these sales rates continue to hold up, the company expects to have the initial inventories of Optison shipped by the quarter ending in June.