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Mera Pharmaceuticals seeks funding as losses mount

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Kona-based Mera Pharmaceuticals Inc. swung to a loss in the latest quarter as the loss of a major contract caused revenue to tumble at the struggling microalgae producer.







Mera said it lost $77,778 in the quarter ended April 30 compared with a profit of $22,921 in the same quarter a year earlier. The latest decline brings the company’s total losses for the past eight years to $8.2 million, Mera said in filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Revenue fell to $61,413 for the quarter, down 70 percent from $206,762 in the year-earlier period, Mera reported.

Mera is a marine biotechnology company that uses microalgae to produce astaxanthin, a nutritional supplement marketed under the name AstaFactor. Mera also owns intellectual property related to the use of microalgae in both nutritional and biofuel applications. In addition, Mera produces gourmet sea salt.

The bulk of Mera’s financial loss for the latest quarter was due to the termination of a contract under which HR BioPetroleum had licensed from Mera a patent and related technology for HRBP’s algae-based cultivation process, Mera said. HRBP is a Hawaii-based renewable energy technology company that uses microalgae to produce biofuel feedstocks.

Mera also reported a 36 percent drop in sales of AstaFactor and Kona Sea Salt during the quarter.

In its filing Mera repeated its concerns about the viability of the company going forward.

"The future of the company is dependent upon its ability to obtain financing and upon future profitable operations from the development and sale of Kona Sea Salt," Mera said in the filing.

"Management has plans to seek additional capital through private placement and public offerings of its public stock. These factors raise substantial doubt that the company will be able to continue as a going concern," according to the filing.

The language is virtually identical to Mera’s previous quarterly financial report filed for the quarter ended Jan. 31.

No further information was provided on when a private placement or public offering might be held.

Mera’s shares are thinly traded in the over-the-counter market. The last quoted share price was eight-tenths of a cent last Friday.


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