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Biocompatibles shares crash after chief executive leaves

Shares in Biocompatibles, the troubled healthcare group, crashed 43 per cent to 215p, wiping pounds 117m off its market value, after it announced the immediate resignation of Alistair Taylor, the group's president and chief executive since 1993.

A spokeswoman for Biocompatibles said: "The board gradually lost confidence in Alistair Taylor ... due to his lack of progress in securing marketing partners for Biocompatibles' products."

Biocompatibles' shares have fallen from a peak of 1420p last year after it failed to tie up a marketing agreement with Johnson & Johnson, the giant healthcare group.

The news, coming just before the market closed last night, stunned the City. "This raises serious concerns about the group's future and financial stability," said one analyst. Biocompatibles admitted it could have to raise additional funds if it cannot find a partner soon. The board has formed an emergency management committee led by Jeremy Curnock Cook, the chairman, pending the appointment of a new chief executive.

Mr Taylor could be in line for a pay-off of more than pounds 165,000.