Biotechnology company CytRx Corp. said Monday its loss narrowed in 2009 as revenue increased and research and development costs fell.

The Los Angeles company, which specializes in oncology products, said it lost $4.8 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a loss of $27.8 million, or 30 cents per share, in 2008. The company had fewer shares outstanding in 2008.

Revenue climbed 51 percent to $9.5 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, a loss of 8 cents per share on $9.6 million in revenue.

CytRx said its 2008 results included a charge of about $8 million tied to in-process research and development from its acquisition of Innovative Pharmaceuticals Inc.

For 2009, CytRx said research-and-development expenses fell 29 percent to $7.5 million, as it finished an initial phase of new discovery research in a San Diego laboratory. General and administrative expenses dropped 17 percent to $9.1 million.

In the fourth quarter of 2009, CytRx lost $2.5 million, or 3 cents per share, on $100,000 in revenue. That compares with a loss of $3.5 million, or 3 cents per share, on $1.4 million in revenue for the final quarter of 2008.

CytRx said it plans to start five mid-stage clinical trials for potential cancer treatments this year. That includes two trials for bafetinib, a possible treatment for people with certain advanced forms of leukemia.

The company also is developing arimoclomol, a potential treatment for Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

CytRx shares climbed 5 cents in afternoon trading to $1.23.