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
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there