AGI posts US$9.28m loss, announces new business strategy

Dublin-listed pharmaceutical company AGI Therapeutics has reported a pre-tax loss of US$9.28m for the first six months of the year.

AGI made a loss per ordinary share of US$0.14 cents during the first half of 2009, compared to the loss per ordinary share of US$0.13 cents made in the same period in 2008.

The company’s revenue in the six months to June remained flat, totalling US$0.3m, while spending on R&D was slightly down on 2008’s US$8.3m to US$7.8m.

AGI said it had moved to cut costs to allow funding for future clinical programmes, and it said it should now have sufficient cash resources to last at least two years.

The company also announced a new business strategy in light of its decision in May to discontinue the development of its core drug Rezular as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Under the new business plan, AGI will focus on the development of specialty products where there is “an unmet medical need”. It will also focus its primary efforts on the US market where it has the most experience and which it said offers the greatest commercial potential.

The company also said it had hopes for Rezular as a potential treatment for chronic diarrhea symptoms, and it estimates that if the drug is successfully developed, peak sales could be in excess of US$1bn.

In a separate statement, AGI said it will seek an opportunity to discuss Rezular’s potential application to chronic diarrhea symptoms with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the coming months.

“In recent months we have spent considerable time identifying assets that will benefit best from further internal development and those better monetised by out-licensing. Over the next year we will concentrate our efforts on building value based on clinical and other scientific evidence in those indications where we see the greatest value for AGI,” said John Devane, CEO of AGI.