Cyprotex eyes takeovers

Transformed drug discovery screening specialist Cyprotex is looking at one acquisition in the USA and one in Britain.

Dr Anthony Baxter, the founder of the Argenta drug discovery group who became chief executive officer of the Macclesfield-based company last year, says he is looking at a technically-based target in the UK, to be followed, if all goes well, by a ‘fantastic’ potential American candidate, provided a realistic value can be agreed for what would most likely be a takeover with shares and cash and could involve a market fundraising, too.

AIM-quoted Cyprotex, which quickly produces outsourced assays of key factors in drugs under development for pharmaceutical companies large and small, wants to strengthen its presence in fields such as toxicology and make a breakthrough into the massive, but insular US market.

The company, which turned £496,000 losses into £542,300 pre-tax profits last year on turnover up 43 per cent to £5.2 million, has £1.7 million cash, but, says Baxter, might come back to the market for cash if the hoped-for takeover materialises. Fans say Cyprotex, which raised £1 million at a depressed 2.5p last August and changed its nominated adviser and broker to Noble in February, is a changed corporate animal since Baxter took the helm.

Steve Harris has replaced Nikolas Sofronis as chairman, John Dootson has become chief financial officer and Simon Bury, formerly with Scottish Biomedical and Pharmacopeia, was appointed chief commercial officer to beef up sales, especially in the USA.

Analysts see pre-tax profits this year reaching £1.2 million on turnover in the region of £6.2 million.

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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