Biocompatibles sells stents business for £139m

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Biocompatibles, the biotechnology company famed for developing stents, tiny balloons used to prop open furred arteries and deliver drugs to the heart, is selling its entire coronary stents business and launching a review of strategy.

The company raised £139m from the disposal to Abbott Laboratories, its US marketing and development partner. Crispin Simon, the chief executive of Biocompatibles, held out the prospect of returning some or all of the money to shareholders.

Analysts expressed disappointment at the headline price but Mr Simon said Biocompatibles will continue to collect royalties on the stents sold by Abbott, the total value of which could be more than £150m over six to 10 years. Shares in the company fell 19.5p to 89p yesterday.

The disposal of the coronary stents business comes two months after the company sold its eye-care business for £68m. It is left with its proprietary technology, PC Technology, which is able to replicate the lining of bloodcells, allowing medical devices to be coated so the body is less likely to react against them.

Mr Simon said that, as well as a return of capital or new acquisitions, Biocompatibles could increase research spending on other areas, including anti-inflammatory treatments for kidney and bladder problems.