Provalis surges as diabetes test is cleared in US

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The Independent Online

Shares in Provalis, the British bio-technology company, surged by 59 per cent yesterday after it announced it had received regulatory clearance to sell Glycosal, its diagnostic product for diabetics, in the United States.

Shares in Provalis, the British bio-technology company, surged by 59 per cent yesterday after it announced it had received regulatory clearance to sell Glycosal, its diagnostic product for diabetics, in the United States.

The American go-ahead for the haemoglobin monitor pushed the share price up 12p to 32.5p, valuing Provalis at £63m. The global market for laboratory testing of glycated haemoglobin was worth $800m to $1bn, said Dr Phil Gould, chief executive.

Glycosal, already sold in 20 markets worldwide, is a four-minute test that measures the average level of glucose in a subject's blood over the past three months. It can monitor severity and effectiveness of treating diabetes, a disorder which affects 15 million Americans.

"During mid-1999 we accelerated our development, scale-up and clinical trials programmes to bring Glycosal to market quickly. This step is very significant, both on the road to where we want to take the company and to ensure a revenue drive toward short-term profitability," Dr Gould said. Provalis emerged last year when he relaunched Cortecs, its troubled predecessor, under a new name. Since then the company has focused on mainstream diagnostics.

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