Renovo has posted a profit for the half-year ended March 31 but the end appears nigh for the Manchester, UK-based biotech.
Thefirm says it is possible that all of its staff may be made redundant bythe time June is out and all of its products are up for sale. Renovoposted operating profits of £3.7 million compared to a loss of over £7.9million in the like, year-earlier period, while revenues leapt to £15.9million from £5.2 million.
However that jump reflects theremainder of the upfront payment received from Shire for itsanti-scarring treatment Juvista (human recombinant transforming growthfactor beta-3) which failed to meet either primary or secondaryendpoints in a Phase III trial earlier this year.
The failure ofJuvista, for which all development has now been stopped, resulted inRenovo starting a 90-day review aimed at reducing headcount by more than100. The company now says if all staff are made redundant during Juneand all closure costs are settled other than the ongoing clinicaltrials, it will have £33 million in cash and equivalents at the end ofnext month, enough to last for at least a year.
The studies inquestion are for Adaprev (mannose-6-phosphate) for improving recovery oftendon function in the hand, and the scar reducer Prevascar(ilodecakin). If early-stage trials prove successful they will be sold,as will Juvidex, a topical administration of M-6-P for cosmetic use andfor which ongoing discussions for a sale are already taking place.
Chiefexecutive Mark Ferguson said “I am greatly surprised and saddened bythe results of the first Juvista Phase III trial". However, "we must nowmaximise returns to shareholders and we are actively progressing thatstrategy".