UK drugmaker Vernalis saw its turnover for the first half of 2005 leap 15.7% to £5.9 million, as the absence of Frova (frovatriptan) royalties in North America from Ireland’s Elan was countered by a strong rise in revenue recognised from collaboration agreements.

However, sales growth for the period was not able to buffer a £6.4 million goodwill impairment charge which, with a substantial hike in R&D spending, helped drive a

63.7% jump in losses to £19 million.

The group recorded sales of £1.6 million for Frova for the six months, compared to £3.0 million for the same period of last year, while revenue recognised under collaboration deals more than doubled to £4.3 million from £2.0 million.

On the down side, R&D costs for the period also rose significantly, totaling £14.2 million versus the £11.0 million spent in the first half of last year. According to the firm, the rise is primarily due to expenditure incurred for the development of Frova for the prophylaxis of menstruation-related migraine.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rocketed to £10.6 million from £6.5 million, primarily on the £6.4 million charge, which relates to the goodwill arising on the acquisition of RiboTargets via its merger with British Biotech [[03/07/03a]].