Spain’s Zeltia has posted an 18.6% rise in revenues for the first quarter to just over 17.5 million euros, while its net loss has narrowed, albeit by only 3.5% to around 11 million euros.

The turnover rise is due largely to the contribution made by the Italian hygiene products company Copyr, which was acquired by Zeltia's Zelnova unit last May, while biotechnology revenues totalled 1.6 million euros.

The group’s investments in R&D fell 2.7% to almost 11.5 million euros, and Zeltia’s PharmaMar subsidiary accounted for most of that sum, at 8.6 million euros (down 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year) while the R&D spend at Neuropharma, which started clinical trials last week of NP-61, its second compound for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, was 2.4 million euros, up 26.3%.

Zeltia, which has just signed a 100 million euro equity line with a leading Spanish bank to finance the activities of PharmaMar and its lead compound, the cancer drug Yondelis (trabectedin), ended the quarter with cash and equivalents of 44.4 million euros.