Dr Maureen Lindsay, has stepped down as chief executive of Scottish group Ardana Biosciences, handing over the reigns, with immediate effect, to Dr Huw Jones, a non-executive director of the firm since June last year.

The move came as the group posted a 25% increase in loss before tax for the six months ended September 30 to of £6.9 million, as an increase in total revenues failed to buffer a substantial hike in operating expenses.

Total revenues were up 21% at £157,000, as a sharp decline in sales of the testosterone replacement therapy Striant SR, which, the firm said, fell from £130,000 last year to £56,000 on the back of timing of bulk sales to European partners, was countered by £91,000 booked for service sales, compared to nil for the prior period.

But operating expenses climbed 24% to £7.4 million, driven, in part, by a 20% rise in research and development expenditure to £4.9 million, reflecting additional clinical activity undertaken across the company’s development portfolio.

Reproductive pipeline

Ardana’s pipeline is heavily focused on reproductive health, and currently houses two products in Phase III, two in Phase II (for three indications) and several follow-on candidates in Phase I. Over the next 12 months, the development programme will be managed and scheduled in line with available funds, and out-licensing deals and/or financing will be necessary for the company to execute its plans.

But, if all goes to plan and on-going pivotal studies are completed, Ardana could potentially submit five regulatory filings in the US and European Union over the next two years, providing a stream of positive news and, hopefully, adding to cash reserves.