ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA)

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ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA)

Q4 2008 Earnings Call

February 12, 2009; 08:30 am ET


Dr. Harvey Berger - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Ed Fitzgerald - Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Tim Clackson - Senior Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer

Maria Cantor - Vice President of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations


Ryan Martins - Barclays Capital

Phil Nadeau - Cowen & Co.

Eun Yang - Jefferies & Co.

Mona Ashiya - JP Morgan

Terence Flynn - Lazard Capital Markets

Howard Liang - Leerwink Swann & Co.



Thank you for holding for ARIAD Pharmaceuticals fourth quarter 2008 investor conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following the formal report, ARIAD management will open the line for a question-and-answer period. Please be advised that this call is being taped at the company’s request and will be archived on the company’s website for four weeks from today.

At this time, I would like to introduce Ms. Maria Cantor, ARIAD’s Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Maria Cantor

Good morning and welcome to ARIAD’s investor call. This morning we will report on corporate development and financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2008 and review our financial guidance for 2009.

Joining me for this call are Dr. Harvey Berger, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Ed Fitzgerald, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Dr. Tim Clackson, our Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.

Before we get started, I would like to state that during this call, we will be making forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to factors, risks and uncertainties, such as those detailed in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and other SEC filings that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed or implied by such statements.

Now, I would like to turn the call over to Dr. Berger for this morning’s opening remarks.

Harvey Berger

Thank you very much Maria and good morning everyone. ARIAD’s vision is to transform the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines. We are focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule drugs to treat cancer, in patients with the greatest and most urgent unmet medical need, aggressive cancers or current therapies are in adequate.

This past year, 2008, was one of the most productive in ARIAD’s history and in our long standing efforts to fulfill this vision. We achieved the corporate objectives we set at the beginning of 2008 and are now beginning to see the results of our efforts in building a fully integrated oncology company.

With our ongoing focus and momentum, we expect 2009 to be an equally important year for ARIAD. Completion of enrollment in our SUCCEED trial of oral deforolimus in patients with metastatic sarcomas is coming into view, and we expect to have clinical proof of concept data on our second product candidate, AP24534 or 534 in blood cancers later this year.

I anticipate that 2009 will be a transformational year for ARIAD, for the company and importantly for its investors and within the next few years, for cancer patients whose lives we seek to transform. At the same time we achieved our goals for 2008. We continued to show a strong commitment to the financial discipline, especially in these challenging economic times. We ended 2008 as projected, with a solid financial position and we are well positioned going forward to achieve all of our business goals for 2009.

Ed Fitzgerald will reiterate the financial guidance for 2009 that we announced in January and provide a full financial update for the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2008. I will then come back online and share with you ARIAD’s progress in advancing its innovative oncology pipeline. Finally, we will close the call as we always do with an interactive Q-and-A session with the ARIAD team, including Tim Clackson, who also will be available to answer your questions.

So let me now turn the discussion over to Ed Fitzgerald for our financial update.

Ed Fitzgerald

Thank you Harvey and good morning everyone. I’d like to start with our financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ended December 31, 2008, the details of which were provided in the press release we issued earlier this morning.

The company ended fiscal year 2008 with cash and marketable securities of $39.1 million. Cash used in operations for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $48.5 million. For the year ended December 31, 2008 we reported a net loss of $71.1 million or $1.02 per share, compared to a net loss of $58.5 million or $0.86 per share in 2007. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, we reported a net loss of $16.8 million or $0.24 per share, compared to a net loss of $15.7 million or $0.23 per share for the same quarter in 2007.

The increase in net loss in 2008 reflects the advancement of our development programs, primarily the cost of expanding clinical development of oral deforolimus in multiple cancers in conjunction with our partner Merck & Co. This net loss is below the range provided when we announced revised guidance for the full year during the fourth quarter of last year.

We have expanded our development activities for deforolimus as agreed upon in our joint global development plan with Merck, resulting in an increase in R&D costs in the fourth quarter and full year periods of 2008, compared to the corresponding periods of 2007. You will recall that our partnership agreement with Merck was signed in July 2007 and joint development activities began during the fourth quarter of 2007.

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