(Reuters) -French vaccine maker Valneva on Thursday reported a narrower quarterly loss helped by a fall in costs from development of its chikungunya vaccine and lower investment in research and development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
It posted a loss of 18.4 million euros ($19.53 million) in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the three months ended March 31, after a loss of 28.3 million a year earlier.
Revenue of 21.8 million euros ($23.13 million) was down 5.9%.
Research and development investment amounted to 20.7 million euros ($21.97 million) in the first quarter, down 25% from a year earlier.
Progress in its chikungunya vaccine program meant lower clinical trial costs while it also spent less on its COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001, the company said.
The quarter also marked the first shipments of VLA2001, to Bahrain, taking COVID-19 vaccine sales to 3.8 million euros ($4.03 million).
Regarding VLA2001, which Britain approved in April, the company said it had provided responses to questions from the European Medicines Agency. The agency had asked for more data on the vaccine at the end of April.
Valneva confirmed its financial guidance for the year, for which it expects revenue of 430 million to 590 million euros, though it noted that "the distribution of total revenues by revenue category may differ from the figures announced".
In February, it had guided for 350 to 500 million euros in sales of the VLA2001 vaccine for the year.
($1 = 0.9423 euros)
(Reporting by Valentine Baldassari; editing by Clarence Fernandez and Jason Neely)