SAN DIEGO (AP) ¿ Diagnostic test maker Sequenom Inc. said late Wednesday its first-quarter loss widened on higher expenses due to research and development spending.

The company lost $17.5 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with a loss of $8.6 million, or 19 cents per share, during the same period a year prior. Revenue fell 18 percent to $8.7 million from $10.6 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 23 cents per share on revenue of $11.2 million.

Sequenom's expenses rose 41 percent to $26.5 million, mainly on research and development costs.

Meanwhile, consumable revenue remained nearly flat at $4.7 million while system related revenue fell 31 percent to $3.1 million. Services revenue fell 38 percent to $837.000.

The company had been preparing to launch the Down syndrome test SEQureDx in June, but will delay because of employee mishandling of test data and results.

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