Spanish biotechnology group Zeltia has posted revenues of 76.2 million euros for 2006, an increase of 5.8%, though its losses have widened due to increased R&D costs.

Net loss rose 16.2% to 43.8 million euros and the company noted that its R&D spend increased 8.8% to 49.7 million euros, while spending on marketing and publicity was up 17.5% to 23.3 million euros. The revenue rise was boosted by the contribution of the Italian hygiene products company Copyr, which was acquired by Zeltia’s Zelnova unit in May for 2 million euros

Spending on R&D at Zeltia’s PharmaMar unit was 37.2 million euros, much of which went on Yondelis (trabectedin) for the treatment of soft-tissue sarcoma and ovarian cancer. Zeltia is still waiting to hear from the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products as to whether Yondelis will be approved in the soft tissue sarcoma indication but the firm suffered a setback recently when partner Johnson & Johnson said is not likely to present the drug for US approval as a second-line treatment for advanced soft tissue sarcoma this year.

Nevertheless, Zeltia is confident in the potential of the drug and the rest of its pipeline. As for the firm's second anti-tumour compound, aplidine, a Zeltia spokesman recently told PharmaTimes World News that discussions are well-advanced in terms of securing a licensing partner.