Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. said that sales of its recently approved constipation drug Linzess totaled $19.2 million in the fourth quarter, although it was not enough to offset higher costs.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Linzess in August as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and for chronic constipation. It is intended for adult patients who have not been helped by other treatments. Ironwood's partner Forest Laboratories Inc. began marketing the drug in the U.S. in December. The drug is expected to go on the market in Europe early this year under the name Constella.

During the fourth quarter Ironwood lost $43.9 million, or 41 cents per share, as sales and administrative costs more than doubled to $33.3 million from $13.9 million. A year ago the company took a loss of $7 million, or 7 cents per share.

Revenue slipped 16%, to $27 million from $32.2 million.

Analysts expected the company to take a loss of 48 cents per share and $17.8 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Date: January 15, 2013
Source: Associated Press