Cancer fighter Immutep’s first full-year report since changing its name from Prima BioMed was a mixed bag with revenue up but expenses blowing out for an eight-figure loss.

Loss for the year was $12.7 million, a 36 per cent increase on the 2017 financial year.

Though its main focus is cancer treatment, Immutep (ASX:IMM) told Stockhead earlier this month it was branching into autoimmune diseases.

IMP761 is one of two drugs being trialled to treat autoimmune diseases. The company announced a boost for that drug’s pre-clinical development this morning with a $1.9 million research and development tax rebate from France.

The funds will be used to support the pre-clinical development of IMP761 as well as the clinical development of Immutep’s flagship cancer treatment candidate “eftilagimod alpha”.

Last year Immutep’s spending increased across the board as the company ramped up operations.

Research and development and intellectual property costs rose nearly $2.5 million to $10 million.

The “significant increase was expected” and was due to patient recruitment for two clinical trials and the further development of the IMP761 drug candidate.

Immutep also revealed a 66 per cent increase in corporate administrative expenses to $7.2 million.

“This increase of $2.9 million was primarily due to an increase of $600,000 in salary expense due to increased headcount and an increase in non-cash expenses including $1.4 million in employee share-based payments and $500,000 in transaction costs relating to a US capital raising.”

Immutep’s shares (ASX:IMM) over the past year.

However, the company also reported a 74 per cent increase in revenue for the year, with licence revenue of $2.6 million — compared with zilch in 2017 — making up the bulk of that increase.

Immutep’s shares were flat on the news this morning, trading at 3.5c.

The comment has been approached for comment.