UK biopharmaceutical company, Phytopharm, says it made a jump into profit for the half-year ended February 28 to £735 million pounds – significantly reversing a £1.9 million loss for the same period 2004. However, the firm’s share price barely moved on the news – closing down marginally on the London Stock Exchange yesterday. The move into profit was driven by a six times increase in revenues to £6.3 million, and a healthy income from milestone fees.

Said Dr Richard Dixey, Chief Executive of Phytopharm: “The highlight of the first half was the signing of a worldwide licence agreement with Unilever, the global leader in weight management products, for our Hoodia gordonii extract [[15/12/04c]]. We will be seeking further licensing deals over the next year, starting with our veterinary portfolio and then with our Alzheimer’s product Cogane, following completion of Phase II trials at the end of this year.” In February, Phytopharm received a £4 million milestone payment from Cogane partner Yamanouchi, but just one month later split from the Japanese firm after a review of the latter’s post-merger portfolio with Fujisawa [[01/04/05c]].