Drug firm optimistic

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BRITISH Bio-technology, the drug research company that came to the market at the start of this month, reported 'excellent progress' along with an pounds 11.6m loss in its debut results announcement, writes Paul Durman.

Bio-technology companies, which use molecular biology to develop new drugs, typically incur heavy losses in their early years until the uncertain date when they can license a saleable product.

British Bio-technology, the first such company to come to the UK market, is about to begin human testing of an asthma treatment that is unlikely to come to the market for five years. Under the terms of a recent deal, the drug giant Glaxo has agreed to bear the costs of testing the effectiveness of the company's compound. If the product is successful, these costs could be as much as pounds 20m.

British Bio-technology has also begun initial testing of a vaccine that retards the development of Aids in people who are HIV-positive, and a cancer treatment.

The company's pounds 30m placing has left it with pounds 60m on deposit.