Viagra rival seeks £30m Aim flotation

Futura Medical, the UK company which is developing a rival impotence treatment to Viagra, has announced plans to float on the stock market, valuing the business at £30m.

The company said it would raise £1.7m in the float on the junior Aim market this month, pricing Futura at 70p a share.

Surrey-based Futura's main product is a cream for treating male erectile dysfunction, which will be marketed to the public in 2005 if it passes further clinical trials and is given approval by regulators in the European Union next year.

Futura's treatment is primarily aimed at men with a heart condition because most angina drugs include nitrates, which cannot be taken in conjunction with Viagra.

Futura reckons there will be 7.2 million men suffering from erectile dysfunction in the UK by 2004, and 86 million worldwide. James Barder, chief executive of Futura, believes about 10 per cent of those may not be able to take Viagra and may be able to take advantage of its cream, which works by improving blood flow.

Mr Barder co-founded the company in 1997 to develop over the counter and prescription-only treatments for men and women's sexual problems. It does not have a product on the market yet and made a loss of £1.24m last year.

Futura said Andrew Slater, previously at the condom-maker SSL International, would join its board as a non-executive director following the float.

The IPO is the latest in a recent flutter of activity in the new issues market. Benfield, the reinsurance broker, enjoyed a successful flotation last month and Yell, the directories business, has revived its float plans.

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