May 7, 2008 / 12:13 PM / 10 years ago

AEterna Zentaris doubles first-quarter loss

TORONTO (Reuters) - AEterna Zentaris Inc AEZ.TO said on Wednesday that its first-quarter loss more than doubled due to higher research and development expenses for its enlarged prostate gland treatment.

The biopharmaceuticals company said it lost $10.9 million, or 20 cents a share in the period ended March 31, compared with a loss of $5.1 million, or 10 cents a share, during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter was $9.7 million, up 5.6 percent from $9.2 million in the same period in 2007.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 24 cents a share on revenue of $9.8 million.

The company, which specializes in endocrinology and oncology treatments, said research and development expenses were $13.7 million for the first quarter, up from $7.9 million for the same time last year as it ramped up development of its lead product cetrorelix which is in Phase 3 trials.

Typically expenses will mount for biotechnology companies as they advance further into trials before receiving regulatory approval.

($1=$1.00 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Renato Andrade

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