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Thursday, February 1, 2001


Cyanotech posts loss
of $322,000

By Tim Ruel

Kona-based biotechnology company Cyanotech Corp. today reported a net loss of $322,000 for its fiscal third quarter, citing fallen sales to its largest customer, Spirulina International.

Earnings The firm, which commercializes products made from microalgae, lost $3.2 million in the same period last year, but that included a one-time charge of $2.8 million. Without the charge, Cyanotech would have lost about $400,000 in the year-earlier period. The net loss amounts to 2 cents a share for the latest quarter vs. 24 cents a year ago.

Cyanotech's thinly traded stock rose 6 cents today to 94 cents. The stock is down 63.4 percent from a year ago.

The company's sales to Spirulina accounted for only 5 percent of total sales, down from 17 percent last year, said Gerald Cysewski, chairman, president and CEO. The drop was partially offset by improved shipments to Japan and India, he said.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, Cyanotech reported sales of $1.762 million, down 13.7 percent from $2.037 million in the previous year's third fiscal quarter.

Cysewski said the company expects sales to improve in the current quarter.

However, sales of one particular product, BioAstin, would likely not increase until the completion of clinical trials, one of which has been delayed.

The trial, which gauges how well BioAstin can relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, has been slowed because of slow patient recruitment, Cysewski said.

Results should have arrived by December but now are expected next month.

The trial is taking place at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Western Ontario, Canada.

Another trial, to measure BioAstin's effects on reducing muscle soreness, should begin this month at the University of Memphis and wrap up by May, Cysewski said.

Meanwhile, Cyanotech has filed four applications for U.S. patents for BioAstin. The company also signed a distribution agreement in the previous quarter with Japan-based Kyowa Engineering Co.

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