Renovo has posted a profit for the half-year ended March 31 but the end appears nigh for the Manchester, UK-based biotech.
The firm says it is possible that all of its staff may be made redundant by the time June is out and all of its products are up for sale. Renovo posted operating profits of £3.7 million compared to a loss of over £7.9 million in the like, year-earlier period, while revenues leapt to £15.9 million from £5.2 million.
However that jump reflects the remainder of the upfront payment received from Shire for its anti-scarring treatment Juvista (human recombinant transforming growth factor beta-3) which failed to meet either primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase III trial earlier this year.
The failure of Juvista, for which all development has now been stopped, resulted in Renovo starting a 90-day review aimed at reducing headcount by more than 100. The company now says if all staff are made redundant during June and all closure costs are settled other than the ongoing clinical trials, it will have £33 million in cash and equivalents at the end of next month, enough to last for at least a year.
The studies in question are for Adaprev (mannose-6-phosphate) for improving recovery of tendon 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 and for which ongoing discussions for a sale are already taking place.
Chief executive Mark Ferguson said “I am greatly surprised and saddened by the results of the first Juvista Phase III trial". However, "we must now maximise returns to shareholders and we are actively progressing that strategy".