Acambis warns of delay in US contract
Tuesday 26 November 2002
Acambis, the biotech group whose fortunes were transformed by orders for a smallpox vaccine, admitted yesterday that it has suffered delays to its flagship contract to supply the US government.
The disappointment overshadowed news that the company has signed two more contracts with countries concerned about the threat of a bioterrorist attack.
Some £25m of revenue that had been expected to come through before Christmas will now be delayed into next year, after Acambis found itself unable to carry out the necessary testing on batches of the smallpox vaccine, which is made from cowpox.
John Brown, the chief executive, said: "We had a shortage of a chemical agent used in the testing, so we had the product backed up waiting to be tested. The revenue of $428m [£273m] from the contract is staying the same, the margins are staying the same, but some of the money that we said would come in during the fourth quarter of this year will now come in during the first quarter of next year."
The news sent Acambis shares down more than 10 per cent in early trading, but they recovered to close off only 4 per cent at 250.5p as analysts maintained their bullish stance. Nomura had been forecasting a maiden profit of £8.1m for 2002, and while that has now been reduced to £1.6m, the 2003 profit figure has grown from £27.7m to £36.1m.
Mr Brown refused to identify the two countries who have signed contracts for the supply of smallpox vaccine, but said they would be "small in comparison" with the US deal. Analysts expect revenues will be in "single-figure millions" of dollars.
A third country, Austria, has signalled its intention to buy smallpox vaccine from Acambis, but it is yet to sign a deal.
The US had a small supply deal with Acambis which it expanded after 11 September last year as fears grew that terrorists could use smallpox as a biological weapon. It is now buying 209 million doses, enough to inoculate every citizen.
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 How the NHS is being dismantled in 10 easy steps
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...