UK drug discovery company, Pharmagene, had a disappointing morning on the London Stock Exchange – its share price slipped almost 9% during morning trading towards a 52-week low after the firm revealed a widening of losses for the year to December 2004.

During the twelve-month period, Pharmagene recorded losses of some £6.7 million pounds – versus a £5.8 million loss in the year-ago period, primarily as a result of investment in the therapeutic development portfolio. In addition, research and development spending rose from £7.9 million to £8.2 million, and the company’s cash fund dropped from £21.6 million to £15.7 million. Revenues for the year declined marginally from £4.7 million to £4.2 million in what Ronald Openshaw, the company’s acting chief executive, termed “a challenging year for Pharmagene.”

For 2005, the firm is undertaking a reorganisation to provide greater operational distinction between drug discovery services and therapeutics. It plans to continue to invest in its discovery and development pipeline and is strengthen its commercial team.