Sunday 19 November 2017

AGI slashed its losses in 2009 after giving up on bowel drug

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

AGI Therapeutics, the Dublin-based drug-development firm, cut its net loss to $10.6m (€7.75m) last year from $18.2m (€13.3m) in 2008 after it canned development of a drug intended to treat diarrhoea-predominant irritable-bowel syndrome.

Reporting its full-year results yesterday, the company said it was continuing to carry out due diligence on a number of existing third-party drug compounds that could possibly be further developed.

AGI had been extremely optimistic that its Rezular drug could eventually generate annual sales of up to $1.5bn (€1.1bn), but it terminated phase three clinical studies last May after the product had failed to demonstrate any significant difference with existing treatments for pain relief.

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That prompted a collapse in AGI's share price and the company, which was founded by former Elan executive John Devane, rapidly retrenched.

Since May, it has closed its US office, reduced its headcount and slashed its day-to-day running costs by half.

It confirmed yesterday that it will limit ongoing spending on its intellectual-property portfolio, including patents and patent applications, to those products that are part of AGI's new pipeline or where it believes there is a good possibility of partnering with other drug firms in the future.

"While we have yet to announce the details of our new product pipeline, we have already identified a number of attractive opportunities on which we are undertaking rigorous technical and commercial due diligence, and believe this will result in a valuable pipeline of products that will rebuild value in our business," said Mr Devane.

AGI Therapeutics floated on the stock market in 2006 at €1.26, raising more than €42m at the time and valuing the company at more than €80m.

It retained $12m in cash on its balance sheet at the end of December, the company said yesterday.

Irish Independent

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