Unilife’s Q3 revenues slide as Sanofi milestones end

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sanofi-aventis, Pharmaceutical industry

Syringe maker Unilife saw its revenue fall in the third quarter on a lack of milestone payments and its exit from the contract manufacturing sector.

Sales for the three months ended March 31 were $700,000 (€495,000m) down from the $2.4m it saw in the comparable period a year earlier, while Unilife’s loss for the quarter increased $400,000 to $12.5m.

In a press statement it said the decline was due to the absence of milestone payments from Sanofi, formerly Sanofi-Aventis, which licensed rights to its Unifill syringe in a non-exclusive $40m deal in 2010​.

The newly US-headquartered syringe maker received its final milestone payment from the French pharmaceutical major in the previous quarter.

Unifill ramp up

Unilife also said that its third-quarter revenues had been hit by its “decision to discontinue its contract manufacturing operations​.

Unilife’s move away from contracting, which began in December last year, was to allow it to focus on ramping up production of Unifill. This process continued in Q3 and is now nearly complete, according to CEO Alan Shortall.

"The third quarter of fiscal 2011 marked a significant period for Unilife, as we initiated production of the Unifill syringe.

“With this major milestone now completed, we are conducting final product validation procedures and expect to commence initial sales of the Unifill syringe to pharmaceutical companies in July 2011.

He went on to say that: “In preparation for the ramp-up of commercial production, we also expanded our sales and marketing teams to maximize commercial opportunities arising out of discussions that are now accelerating with multiple pharmaceutical companies.”

Shortall’s comments echo those made by Unilife in March, when it reported that it ha received interest from a number of pharmaceutical manufacturers interested in developing Unifill.

The firm will hold a conference call to discuss its results later today.

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