Fusion Antibodies reports 9% revenue jump despite COVID-19 pandemic
has reported higher revenues in a half-year report for 1H21 despite the fact that the period has been largely dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drug and diagnostic specialist said revenues grew by 9% in 1H21 to £1.9m (1H20: £1.75m) while losses remained broadly in line at £0.56m in the period (1H20: £0.62m).
The result reflects R&D expenditure of £0.271m, a 50% increase compared with 1H20, and the continued programme of expansion of capacity and development of sales and marketing. Gross profit margin also improved from 42% to 46% and is similar to that achieved for FY20.
The Company said added costs have arisen not only from the continued recruitment and training of scientists, which it believes will enable it to deliver future growth, but from adjustments to practices and higher costs as a result of COVID-19 associated restrictions.
Cash used in operations was £0.73m compared with £0.55m used in1H20, including planned investment of funds in R&D as well as increased working capital requirements in 1H21.
Cash position as at 30 September 2020 was £3.24 million (31 March 2020: £1.54 million). Meanwhile, the next service in Fusion’s development pipeline is the Mammalian Antibody Library Discovery Platform ("the Library"), an ‘important’ new offering for antibody discovery.
The Directors believe it will represent a technologically superior solution when compared to traditional discovery methods and to other library offerings already available in the market.
Fusion originally planned to use three therapeutic targets in the proof-of-concept R&D programme but early in the period added a new COVID-19 project. It has since completed a £3 million equity raise in April to support this and to provide additional working capital.
Shares in Fusion Antibodies have traded within a range of 90p and 163p over the past two weeks to open 10.00% lower this morning at 112.5p following the announcement.
‘To further demonstrate the potential of the Library, the next two development projects against oncology targets are underway,’ the company told investors. The group said it is currently in discussions with a potential development partner to collaborate on its fourth planned project.
Fusion said the Library will complement existing discovery services and will be offered alongside these to provide a broad range of services to its customers. Commercial collaborations are planned to start in FY22, with ‘meaningful revenues’ anticipated in FY23.
Looking ahead, the Directors believe that the antibody therapeutic market continues to grow, and that Fusion remains in a strong position to grow and return to profitability in future years.
In 2018, seven of the world's ten top selling drugs were antibody-based therapeutics with combined annual sales exceeding $62bn. The global monoclonal antibody therapeutics market is forecast to surpass $174.2bn in 2026, a 6.9% CAGR increase from 2018 to 2026.
The Company highlighted to investors that its current pipeline remains in line with the Board's expectations and that the Directors are confident that ‘progress will be made.’
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