SkyePharma says that it has signed agreements for a private placement of new convertible bonds, which will raise £20 million pounds. The proceeds of this placing, the firm says, will be used to defray corporate expenses, including the £9.8 million likely to be required for the forthcoming redemption of the company’s 6% convertible bond, which are due 2005, and will also be put towards SkyePharma’s cash balance.

Michael Ashton, SkyePharma’s chief executive, said that the firm’s financial results had made reference to the fact that its working capital requirements are sensitive to the timing and receipt of milestones and payments received on the signing of new contracts. Since releasing its results, the firm has received a $15 million dollar milestone payment from partner First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corp as a result of US Food and Drug Administration approval of the lipid-lowerer Triglide (fenofibrate) [[09/05/05c]].

The firm, which is working towards signing a definitive agreement for its major pulmonary product, said: “In the mean time, the board felt that it was in the best interest of the company to remove any uncertainty in respect of the company’s financial resources.”