Shares in Medisys, which has struggled to develop a safety syringe whose needle retracts after use, collapsed by more than 60 per cent yesterday, after it admitted yet another last-minute delay to its product's launch.
The company said testing by its US marketing partner, Smiths Group, had revealed defects that "in extreme circumstances, could affect its performance in certain clinical uses".
The Futura safety syringe, which uses a device similar to an elastic band to pull back the needle, had been due on the market years ago but development and manufacturing delays meant the launch date was put back and back. Smiths, which was appointed earlier this year, had intended to start selling the syringe in September.
With 20 minutes of stock market trading left yesterday, the company announced another six month delay, which threw its 2004 break-even date into doubt. The shares fell 8.25p to 4.75p.
David Wong, the chief executive, said: "The announcement of a further delay is clearly disappointing, but although the problem identified occurs only in a very small proportion of instances both Medisys and Smiths believe it is essential that any risk be eliminated prior to commercial launch."
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