Lacklustre PPL threatens US move
Tuesday 27 April 1999
The company also threatened to move to the United States if it could not secure funding for a new plant.
PPL is struggling to raise pounds 45m to build a new facility in Scotland. It claims it has received offers from American states, including Virginia, but admits it could be difficult to persuade its scientists to make the move.
The plant would be used to develop AAT, a cystic fibrosis treatment. AAT, which aims to reduce the lung infections caused by cystic fibrosis, is derived from the milk of genetically modified sheep and is the group's most advanced product. It aims to begin phase three of clinical trials within the next year with the backing of a partner.
The City had expected the 35 per cent rise in pre-tax losses to pounds 14.25m, but analysts said they had been hoping for an announcement regarding the partner needed to fund the launch of AAT. Nick Woolf, senior analyst at BancBoston Robertson Stephens, said: "They're still missing the elusive partner we've been expecting for some time.
"They need the partner to fund phase three and to validate the drug. With pounds 25.8m cash they've got another 18 months' money, but we know they'll need more," said Mr Woolf.
Dr Ron James, PPL managing director, said that the February results of the phase two clinical trials of AAT were "very pleasing".
Dr James added that "initial reactions from two of our potential marketing partners are very positive". Nonetheless, analysts concede that the sector has suffered unduly from excessive hype which has fuelled unrealistic expectations.
"PPL is attractive," said Mr Woolf. "They are at a quarter of the price they were at when they went public, but they have clearly made progress since then with AAT."
Julie Simmons, biotech analyst at Beeson Gregory, said: "We're not quite as bullish as in the past, but we still consider that the shares are undervalued. On a fundamental basis they should be a buy."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...