Junior scientist Melissa Ahrens, right, and research and development director...

Junior scientist Melissa Ahrens, right, and research and development director Dhammika Gunasekera at Chembio Diagnostic Systems in Medford, Oct. 31, 2016. Credit: Barry Sloan

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. reported Wednesday a smaller loss for the April-June period compared with a year earlier because of higher sales and the absence of a one-time tax charge in 2016.

The Medford-based manufacturer of rapid tests for HIV, Ebola, Zika and other diseases said it lost $2.2 million in the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of $8.4 million a year earlier.

Nearly $6 million of the 2016 loss was due to an accounting provision related to a so-called “deferred tax asset” that Chembio wasn’t able to use because it’s not profitable.

Sales for the April-June period totaled $4 million, a 26 percent increase from a year earlier.

“During the second quarter of 2017, we achieved significant product sales growth within all of our target regions,” including a 187.1 percent increase in Europe, more than 40 percent in Asia and South America, 22 percent in Africa and 8 percent in the United States compared with April-June 2016, said Sharon Klugewicz, the company’s acting CEO.

In the quarter, Chembio won a $5.8 million order from Brazil to supply HIV test components and test kits, and secured approval to begin selling a Zika test and results reader in that country, which has been the hardest hit by the disease that causes birth defects.

Klugewicz said Wednesday that Chembio hopes to win approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell a combination test for HIV and syphilis after a clinical trial is completed this year. It’s also seeking FDA approval for the Zika test.

The earnings announcement came after the stock market close. Chembio shares closed down 15 cents, or more than 2 percent, to $6.15 on the NASDAQ stock market. They are down more than 14 percent over the past 12 months.

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