Increased costs and lower-than-expected revenues contributed to a $372,000 fourth-quarter loss at Nelson Research & Development Co. that left the Irvine drug research concern with a $204,000 annual loss despite higher revenues, the company reported.
The losses contrast with Nelson's performance in 1983--its only profitable year--when the company earned $149,000 for the fourth quarter and $428,000 for the year.
Revenues for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, fell 39% to $604,000, from $998,000 posted in the year-ago period. However, for the full year, revenues were up 13%, to $3.8 million from $3.3 million.
Eric L. Nelson, the company's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement that the company's losses were the result of "an increased staff, the move to its new facilities and expanded product development programs."
During 1984, Nelson Research nearly doubled its staff to 45 and relocated its headquarters to a new research center on the UC Irvine campus.
The company shares the $6-million, 54,000-square-foot center with UCI neuroscience and psychiatric researchers, providing "increased opportunities for interaction with academia," Nelson said. The development of new pharmaceuticals is heavily dependent on academic research.
Nelson added that the cost to develop drugs intended to treat the cardiovascular and central nervous systems added to the loss.
Also contributing to the loss, he said, was a delay in finalizing agreements to license one of Nelson's key products: Azone, a substance that allows other drugs to permeate the skin.