As widely expected, Cambridge, UK-based biopharmaceutical development company Alizyme has been placed into administration after failing to drum up enough reserves to continue trading.

Trading of the group’s shares on the London Stock Exchange was suspended on Friday, and yesterday it was announced that Ian Carr and Nigel Morrison, partners at Grant Thornton UK LLP, have been appointed as joint administrators for both Alizyme plc and its daughter firm Alizyme Therapeutics Limited.

Media reports claim the company admitted earlier this year that unless it could raise more funds it would not be able to continue operating, and according to Carr, the final chop came after the firm was unable to “conclude successfully the discussions with its commercial partners to mitigate potential increased funding obligations under licensing and development agreements with regard to COLAL-PRED”, its flagship product for ulcerative colitis.

Earlier this month serial biotech investor Alan Goodman took over as chairman from Tim McCarthy in a last ditch restructure, telling Cambridge News Online at the time: “I love a challenge. I am looking to do my magic”. However, the final nail in the coffin for the group came in the form of a surprise complaint from US firm Prometheus Labs over an alleged breach of contract, which McCarthy told the publication “made it impossible to raise more funds for Alizyme”.

Buyer sought
In the fourteen years since its birth in 1995, Alizyme has honed its focus on metabolic conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and cancer supportive care, and has pushed a number of products in these therapeutic areas into its development pipeline.

Carr claims that the group “owns valuable intellectual property” and that therefore he is “hopeful” that a suitable buyer(s) for the business and /or its assets will be found. In autumn last year, Alizyme’s stock soared on rumours that Japanese drugmaker Takeda was planning to make a move on the firm. While its interest in the UK group was never confirmed, many will now be wondering whether Takeda - or indeed any other company – will put in an offer for the business in light of this development.