The UK’s Alizyme has posted widening losses for 2006 but says that it is still confident that it can attract big partners for a number of products in its pipeline.

Net loss increased 7.8% to £18 million, due to its increased R&D spend (£18.3 million), while revenues were £1.1 million, compared to nothing last year, which relates to a milestone received from Takeda, Alizyme’s partner for the obesity drug cetilistat which is set to go into Phase III studies.

Other than cetilistat, Alizyme will be hoping for positive data before the end of 2007 from Phase III trials for Colal-Pred for ulcerative colitis and the irritable bowel syndrome treatment renzapride. However, analysts are worried that the firm has not secured any partners for the products yet, a concern that Alizyme’s management are aware of.

The firm’s chairman, Sir Brian Richards, said “we are actively seeking commercial and corporate partners to further fund the remaining development of our products, to complete registration, obtain approval and to provide the resources for the ultimate marketing of those products globally.” He also pointed to a placing in December which raised £14.5 million and “demonstrated the confidence of our major institutional shareholders.” The company’s new chief executive Tim McCarthy echoed this confidence, saying that "I am confident that 2007 will see the successful conclusion of a number of transforming deals for Alizyme."

He noted that the firm is working closely with NovaQuest, the strategic partnering group within Quintiles Transnational “to assist with the commercialisation of our products by utilising their expertise and leveraging their extensive network within the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.” As for the recent financing, he said it “provides financial resources sufficient to take us into the second half of 2008.”