Dutch biotechnology company Crucell has reported a decline in revenues for the second quarter of 2003, down 62 per cent to €1.1 million from €2.9 million in the same period of 2002.
The company said the decline came about because it signed fewer new licenses for its PER.C6 cell line, used in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. Crucell stressed that such quarterly fluctuations in license revenues were not uncommon.
Crucell posted a net loss in the second quarter of €6.2million, compared to €6.1 million a year earlier, although the firm trimmed its operating costs by €2.1 million to €7.1 million, helped by reductions in laboratory and external research costs.
Highlights of the second quarter included a strengthening of Crucell's relationship with US drugmaker Merck & Co, which saw the latter firm take out a third license to the PER.C6 technology for the production of antibodies and therapeutic proteins. Merck and Crucell have also expanded their cooperation agreement relating to the creation of a Biologics Master File for PER.C6 at the US Food and Drug Administration.
Meantime, the quarter also saw the Dutch company make progress in its discovery and development activities, with the completion of initial testing on a vaccine against West Nile virus and the start of a full-scale development project for this product. This vaccine has also been licensed out to Kimron Veterinary Institute for use in animals.