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Cardiome trims quarterly loss Add to ...

Cardiome Pharma Corp. says a 51-per-cent drop in research and development spending and a jump in revenue from a partner helped the drug developer trim its second-quarter loss.

The heart drug company said Tuesday it had a loss of $1.4-million or 2 cents a share for the April-June period, narrowing last-year's loss for the same period of $18.1-million or 28 cents.

Cardiome's revenue soared to $8.6-million from $200,000, largely due to its agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.

In April, Cardiome signed a collaboration and licence agreement with Merck for the development and commercialization of vernakalant, its treatment for an irregular heart rhythm.

The company received an initial payment of $60-million (U.S.) followed by a $15-million milestone payment in July after the quarter ended from a Merck affiliate.

Cardiome's research and development expenses dropped to $6.3-million (Canadian), primarily due to the completion of the Phase IIb trial for vernakalant. That compared with $12.9-million a year ago.

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