Phytopharm soars 340% on drug trial
Thursday 15 October 2009
The biotechnology minnow Phytopharm received a huge share price boost yesterday after announcing that early trials of its potential Parkinson's disease treatment had produced impressive results.
Phytopharm's shares closed up 339.6 per cent at 26.95p after the group said that during an 18 week study, Cogane reduced Parkinsonian disability in monkeys by 43 per cent. The Michael J Fox Foundation , established after the American actor was diagnosed with the disease, contributed $1.16m (£725,000) for the study.
In a separate phase 1b clinical trial, Cogane was found to be safe in both healthy volunteers and Parkinson's disease suffers.
The trial results represent a significant improvement in the fortunes of Phytopharm. In October last year hopes over its leading product crumbled after Unilever scrapped plans to use Hoodia, a naturally occurring appetite suppressant, in its SlimFast diet drinks. Phytopharm had spent several years, and lots of investor money, developing Hoodia for use in the drinks.
"The plan was always to use the cash from Hoodia sales to develop the pharmaceutical side of the business," said Phytopharm's chief executive, Sandy Morrison. "When that failed we had to reassess what we had and decided that Cogane was the jewel in the crown. After the initial trial results, it will come as no surprise that we will be looking at multiple millions of funding in the not too distant future."
Despite the share price jump yesterday, some biotech fund managers pointed out that Cogane is still a long way from being a commercial success.
"The news from Phytopharm is certainly good, but some people are getting carried away," said Andy Smith of Axa Framlington. "It could be as long as 10 years before this product comes to market, and that will include three or four funding rounds. Statistically, more than 90 per cent of treatments at this stage fail to make it to market."
The group said it will take advice from its broker KBC Peel Hunt, on raising funds for the next stage of clinical trials. A share placement or rights issue are the most likely methods.
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...