Biopharmaceuticals company Abgenix ( ABGX) reported a narrower-than-expected loss in the third quarter and outpaced analysts' estimates.

The Fremont, Calif., firm lost $36.8 million, or 41 cents a share, in the latest third quarter, compared with $42.4 million, or 48 cents a share, last year.

The company reported revenue of $4.7 million, up from $3.1 million for the year-earlier quarter, mostly from contract revenue from licensing agreements. In this year's third quarter, Abgenix saw increased licensing revenue and a milestone payment from Agensys.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected Abgenix to lose 49 cents a share on sales of $4.54 million.

Last year, big biotech Amgen ( AMGN) paid the company revenue and a milestone payment for the generic drug denosumab, a bone-loss treatment developed using Abgenix technology.

"We continue to execute on our goals for 2005, including progress with our partner, Amgen, towards the initiation of our regulatory filing to the FDA for panitumumab before year-end 2005," said Bill Ringo, Abgenix president and chief executive, in a press release.

Abgenix shares were up 2% in after-hours trading Tuesday.

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