Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday its fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed as it saw a jump in contract revenue from the federal government.

The Tustin, Calif., drugmaker said it lost $1.5 million, or 3 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Jan. 31. That compares to a loss of $3.3 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue soared 45 percent to $9.9 million. Peregrine said government contract revenue climbed to $6.8 million from about a million, offsetting a 49 percent drop in contract manufacturing revenue to $2.9 million.

The company has a contract with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency for the Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative.

Peregrine is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treatments for cancer and serious viral infections.

The company said research and development costs climbed 64 percent in the quarter to $7.3 million from $4.5 million. It increased spending for anti-viral research under its government contract and to advance clinical development programs for the antivirus drug candidate bavituximab, which Peregrine is also testing against cancer, and the potential brain cancer treatment Cotara.

Shares of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. were unchanged Thursday at $3.53