As expected, UK biotechnology company, Acambis, yesterday unveiled tumbling revenues and profits for the second quarter and first half of the year [[08/03/05b]], [[11/05/05f]]. Shares in the company dropping over 2% on the London Stock Exchange in response the news.

For the first six months, Acambis saw revenues of £12.4 million pounds, down from £51.3 million the year before, while a profit of £26.9 million was turned into a loss of £12.8 million for the period. The company has been hit by reduced income from the US Centers for Disease Control for its smallpox vaccine, as this windfall contract is almost complete, and increased R&D investment [[11/03/03f]]. Acambis is now chasing another US Department of Health and Human Services contract after the latter issued a tender for 80 million doses of modified vaccinia ankara - a weakened form of smallpox vaccine. Acambis is developing MVA3000 together with Baxter for use in people unable to receive traditional immunization against the disease [[16/08/05c]].

Acambis is also looking to move its Japanese encephalitis vaccine, ChimeriVax-JE, into Phase III development this year, and begin Phase II studies of ChimeriVax-WestNile, Phase I target population studies of MVA3000 and a second early-stage trial of a vaccine against Clostridium difficile.

Gordon Cameron, chief executive of Acambis, noted: “At the time of our preliminary results announcement in March 2005, we indicate that we expect the predictable revenues to be around £40 million for 2005. We continue to be confident of achieving these more predictable revenues. Of the unpredictable revenues, we have today indicated that we expect ACAM2000 [a second smallpox vaccine] warm-base manufacturing revenues will likely start in 2006. While discussions are ongoing with other governments on sales of ACAM2000 and C-VIG [Cangene’s vaccinia immune globulin product], at this stage we are not including these in our 2005 revenue guidance.”

The company is planning an R&D day on 15 November.