First Celsis results disclose six-month loss

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The Independent Online
CELSIS INTERNATIONAL, a biotechnology company that uses an enzyme found in fireflies to detect bacteria, yesterday reported a first-half loss of pounds 560,000, its first results since coming to the market in July, writes Paul Durman.

The digital device that makes use of Celsis's technology will not be launched until next autumn, so sales were only pounds 79,000 in the first half. The company hopes its system will replace the century-old method of agar jelly testing for microbes. It hopes to cut testing times to a day instead of the two to seven days needed with agar plates.

Celsis has launched five 'spearhead' products to help to establish its reputation with prospective customers. One kit is being used by Unilever to test for bacteria in shampoos, soaps and creams. Others are used to monitor water quality, hygiene in the food and drink industry and the quality of raw material used in pharmaceutical production.

Tony Martin, Celsis' chief executive, does not expect significant sales from these products. When launched, the digital system - 'it looks like a Rubik's cube' - will be tailored to the needs of the particular customer.

Celsis raised pounds 12.4m from its float to fund its research.