UK dermatology specialist York Pharma says that its pretax losses for the first half of the fiscal year ended March 31 rose 47.7% to just under £4.5 million but the firm believes that profitability is not too far away.

York, which posted revenues of £2.2 million compared with zero in the like, year-earlier period, said that increase in losses was due to investment in the development of its portfolio of products and implementing its regulatory strategy. Specifically, it is planning for the first commercialisation of Abasol (abafungin), a topical treatment for fungal infections of the skin, in the UK, other key markets in the European Union, the USA and Japan.

Marketing authorisation for Abasol for dermatomycosis is expected in the UK in the second half of 2008. Resulting from its acquisition of Derms Development in November 2007 for a total of £12.5 million, York says it now has its own sales and marketing infrastructure in the key European territories. The Derms purchase was responsible for the company booking some revenues, notably from the acne treatment Zindaclin (clindamycin).

Chief executive Terry Sadler said that York has made “significant progress over the past six months in reaching its objective of becoming a self-sustaining, profitable specialty pharma business focused on dermatology”. Chairman Max Dyer Bartlett added that the firm needs to expand its shareholder base, increase liquidity and gain “wider recognition of our business in international markets” and “over the next six months we will confidently move our business much closer” towards those goals.