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NORTH AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC 1ST QTR NET SALES DECREASE 35%.

North American Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: NASI), Chatsworth, Calif., has announced financial results for its first quarter ended January 31, 2004.

For the first quarter ended January 31, 2004, the company reported net sales of $3.4 million, a 35% decrease over the $5.1 million reported for the first quarter of 2003. The year-over-year decrease in sales is principally attributable to the transition during the prior-year quarter from a third-party distribution relationship to direct sales of its brachytherapy seed products. Net loss for the first quarter was $3.9 million, or $0.38 per share, compared with a net loss of $1.0 million, or $0.10 per share, for the prior-year quarter.

At January 31, 2004, the company's cash and marketable securities totaled $45.0 million.

In October of 2003 the company announced the planned acquisition of NOMOS Corporation with an anticipated closing date in the first calendar quarter of 2004. While both parties have worked diligently to meet this timeline, additional data, including updated NOMOS audited financial data is required by the Securities and Exchange Commission which is anticipated to delay the closing until the second calendar quarter.

L. Michael Cutrer, president and CEO of North American Scientific, stated, "While we are disappointed with the delay in the closing of the NOMOS transaction, both parties remain committed to the transaction and integration efforts continue in order to maximize our combined synergies on day one."

On January 1, 2004, The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 became effective, with important changes to reimbursement of brachytherapy seeds. Throughout 2003 brachytherapy seeds were reimbursed within a capped procedure code. The Act eliminates the procedural charge basis and now provides for separate payment for brachytherapy seeds.

Regarding the company's brachytherapy sales, Cutrer stated, "We believe the reimbursement change will provide a proper incentive for doctors to elect brachytherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. Our sales team is well positioned with a solid line of products and we look forward to further strengthening our sales efforts with the close of the NOMOS transaction."

Cutrer, commenting on the company's Hynic-Annexin V development program, said, "Enrollment in the Phase II trials for evaluation of patient response to chemotherapy continues in Europe and the U.S. We anticipate completing enrollment in the European Phase II trial this summer." Cutrer concluded, "We will continue to generate data and evaluate other strategic opportunities related to the product's development."

The company has announced the resignation of its senior vice president and CFO, Alan Edrick. In connection with his separation, the company accrued in the quarter separation payments of $600,000 and a one-time non-cash charge of $351,000 for accelerated vesting of stock options. The company's controller and chief accounting officer, Erik Johnson, is currently serving as interim CFO, while the company conducts a search for a permanent CFO.

About North American Scientific

North American Scientific designs, develops and produces innovative radioisotopic products, including brachytherapy seeds and radiopharmaceuticals, principally for the treatment and diagnosis of disease. Its lead radiopharmaceutical product candidate is Hynic-Annexin V which is based upon the Apomate(TM) technology platform and is a kit for the preparation of Technetium Tc-99m labeled Annexin V. It is administered intravenously and is intended for the in vivo imaging of apoptosis and necrosis, two common forms of cell death.

For more information, visit http://www.nasi.net or call 818/734-8600.
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Comment:NORTH AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC 1ST QTR NET SALES DECREASE 35%.
Publication:Biotech Financial Reports
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:565
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