French biotechnology group Transgene has posted a net profit of 8.5 million euros for the first six months of 2007 compared with a 10.6 million euro loss for the same period in 2006.

Revenues were up from 2.8 million euros to 24.7 million euros and the principal reason for the improvement in fortunes was the signing of a deal with Roche. Transgene received 23 million euros in upfront and early milestone payments in the second quarter following the agreement reached with the Swiss healthcare giant to collaborate on the development of the French firm’s therapeutic vaccine programme against human papilloma virus-mediated diseases.

The agreement, which was signed in April, includes Transgene’s lead candidate TG 4001 (MVA-HPV-IL2), which is due to go into Phase III trials to treat high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2/3), a precancerous cervical abnormality. The Strasbourg-headquartered firm’s chief executive, Philippe Archinard, added that its financial position has also been strengthened by a “very successful” capital increase in June which brought in 100.1 million euros.

“We now have sufficient financial visibility and means to carry out our development plans and accelerate our transition to a full-fledged biopharmaceutical company,” he said. As of June 30, the company had cash and equivalents of 114.3 million euros.