Mera halves net loss
The company says higher sales and contract research helped its revenue
Mera Pharmaceuticals Inc. said yesterday its fiscal second-quarter loss was more than cut in half and its revenue nearly doubled on increased sales of its Asta Factor line of products and contract research services.
The Kona-based producer of nutritional products from microalgae had a net loss of $63,664 compared with a net loss of $160,517 in the year-earlier quarter, according to a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Revenue jumped 94.6 percent to $135,169 from $69,450.
Mera said it has contracted with another company for use of Mera's growth modules that should boost revenues through the end of this fiscal year that ends Oct. 31, with the possibility of an extension.
The company also said it is in negotiations with a third company to use Mera's facility, either simultaneously with the current contract work, or separately.
Mera declined to name either company.
In addition, Mera said it expects to introduce a new product early in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year which is expected to further increase revenue.
Mera Chief Executive Gregory Kowal said yesterday that he expects the company's revenue to increase 10 to 15 percent for this fiscal year from the $387,000 generated in the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2006.
About half of that revenue came from contract research, he said.
Kowal sought to dispel speculation, though, that Mera's contract services are related to genetically modified organisms.
"People have been calling NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority), and some of them are claiming we are doing genetically modified work, and we are not," Kowal said. "We are not doing any GMO work for anyone nor are we contemplating doing any GMO work for anyone."
Kowal said the recent flurry of calls to NELHA over Mera's activities stems from the pending project for GMO work that Mera had lined up two years ago with San Diego-based Rincon Pharmaceuticals to import genetically modified algae to conduct tests on "biopharmaceutical" algae, which has been genetically altered to produce experimental drugs intended to treat a variety of illnesses.
The state Department of Agriculture had approved the project, but opponents took the matter to court, which led Rincon to do its trials on the mainland, Kowal said.