Bioglan Pharma plans pounds 200m float next year

Bioglan Pharma, one of the UK's oldest and most profitable pharmaceutical companies, plans a pounds 200m float on the main stock market next year.

In an unusual decision for normally cash-hungry drug groups, Bioglan, which was incorporated in 1932 and has subsidiaries in five countries, cluding Germany and the US, may not raise any new money when it floats.

Terry Sadler, who joined the company as chairman and chief executive in 1985, transforming it from a vitamin group to a drug delivery specialist, said Bioglan was profitable and would not need to seek new money unless it wanted to make more acquisitions, a possibility in the US.

"We have always generated enough cash internally to fund our research. We are an unusual combination. We're UK-based, we invest heavily in research and we're profitable," he said.

Since Mr Sadler joined, the company has raised finance only once, pounds 10m with private investors last year.

The company manufactures and sells a range of prescription drugs to treat skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, but is investing in potentially lucrative drug delivery technologies.

The group, which employs 170 people, more than doubled pre-tax profits to pounds 1.4m on turnover 53 per cent ahead to pounds 15m in the year to January. When Mr Sadler joined the group was turning over pounds 94,000 and employed three people.

Mr Sadler, who owns 56.8 per cent of Bioglan's shares, said a flotation would increase the group's attraction to big drug partners: "We want to benchmark the company. There is a tendency for big pharma companies to take a public company more seriously." Hitchin-based Bioglan already has licensing agreements with major drug groups, including Merck and Novartis. Though the company currently makes its money from manufacture and sale of skin creams like Metrogel for acne and Cocosis for scalp diseases, it is investing around pounds 3m a year in novel drug delivery technologies. Mr Sadler plans a significant rise in R&D spend to around pounds 17m over the next three years: "Making drugs which are easier to take has vast potential. Poor compliance is one of the biggest problems facing any pharmaceutical company trying to sell its drugs. There is a great need for methods which make taking drugs less painful and disruptive." The company is focusing on novel protein delivery technology, the most difficult and competitive, but potentially most lucrative drug delivery market. Important proteins like insulin or human growth factor currently cannot be taken by mouth as they are broken down by the stomach and have to be injected instead. Bioglan's biosphere technology enables molecules to be applied to the skin and released over two weeks. He expects the company's most advanced product, a gel used with antiviral drugs, to reach market by 1999. "Drug delivery companies work with existing drugs, not new chemicals. Time to market is quicker," said Mr Sadler.

Mr Sadler said a flotation would also increase stock liquidity, though he said he did not intend to sell more than "a minium" of his own holding: "We want to reward investors and employees for their support. But we are all in this company for the long term. There is no question of us cashing in and getting out." Shareholders in the company, which is being advised by Hoare Govett, include Abbey Life Assurance and Shell Pensions.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£12500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Adviser - OTE £24,500

£22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £40,000

£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'