March 22, 2011 / 3:02 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Aeterna loss smaller than expected due to royalties

(In U.S. dollars)

TORONTO, March 22 (Reuters) - Canadian drugmaker Aeterna Zentaris Inc AEZ.TO AEZS.O posted a quarterly loss on Tuesday that was smaller than market estimates as royalties helped the results.

The company received a $2.5 million milestone payment from Cowen Healthcare Royalty Partners LP that had been contingent on certain sales targets for its cetrotide treatment. Cetrotide is treatment for in vitro fertilization that is given to women to prevent premature ovulation and to increase fertility success rate.

Aeterna posted a fourth-quarter loss of $2.7 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with earnings of $12 million, or 19 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts, on average, were looking for a loss of 7 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 75 percent to $10 million, topping the average analyst estimate of $5.9 million.

In the year-before quarter, Aeterna received a $30.4 million payment from Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC. (Reporting by S. John Tilak; editing by Peter Galloway)

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