Trouble with HemaCare Corporation’s blood services division led to company to have a greater financial loss in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.

HemaCare is a provider of biological products and services that are used in research studies, medical device qualifications, validations and the development of cellular therapies.

For the first quarter of 2011, the Van Nuys-based company had a net loss of 390,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, on revenues of $7 million. For the same period in 2010, the company had a net loss of $204,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, on revenues of $7.8 million.

“Our reported loss in the 2011 first quarter, due entirely to continuation of challenging conditions for our Blood Services segment, obscured qualifying gains for our other lines of business,” said Pete van der Wal, the company’s CEO.

In particular, the revenues from the company’s cellular therapy and research products activities rose significantly in the quarter when compared to the same period a year ago, van der Wal said. Those revenues, which make up more than 5 percent of total sales, grew to $350,000 in the most recent first quarter from $100,000 in the same quarter in 2010, he added.

Van der Wal said the company expects a greater contribution from its cellular therapy and research product activities in 2011 and into 2012. This is partially based on the company’s expanded cell collection service agreement with Dendreon Corporation, which makes prostate cancer treatment Provenge.

“We further expect such activities will produce significantly higher profit margins to the company than those generated by our Blood Services segment,” van der Wal said.

Jessica Vernabe