Viratek Inc., the Costa Mesa-based developer of pharmaceutical products, said it lost $2.7 million in the second quarter ended May 31, compared with a loss of $567,000 in the same period last year. Sales for the period were $202,000, down 69% from $647,000 last year.
The loss brings the company's total loss for the first half of the year to $4.6 million, contrasted with a $1.5-million profit in the same period last year. Total sales came to $385,000, down 90% from $4 million in the period a year earlier.
The company said increased research and development spending led to the losses, adding that last year's profits were from the initial enthusiasm generated by the introduction by the company of ribavirin, which is used to treat infants suffering from respiratory syncytial virus.
ICN Pharmaceuticals, the parent company of Viratek, recently came under government scrutiny when questions arose regarding the company's claims about ribavirin's effectiveness in combatting the acquired immune deficiency syndrome virus.