In a trading update covering the year just ended the company flagged up the “broad label” approval of its lead drug, Accrufer, by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year and the positive results on the AEGIS-H2H study, which demonstrated Ferracru’s orally taken treatment was not inferior to Ferinject, the leading intravenous iron therapy.
The group said it ended 2019 with cash of £4.1mln, down from £9.8mln at the end of 2018. Following the receipt in January of the US$11.4mln upfront payment from ASK Pharm, the group's cash runway now extends into 2021.
Revenues for the year are expected to be £2.9mln, down from £11.9mln the previous year, when the company received an £11mln upfront payment from Norgine, which licensed Ferracru in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
European sales volumes of Feraccru grew by 67% in 2019 from 2018’s levels.
Carl Sterritt, the chief executive officer of Shield, said that after the FDA’s approval last year, the group is “diligently working towards appointing an appropriate commercial partner”.
“In addition, having worked throughout 2019 to secure a Chinese partner, we were able to announce the agreement with ASK Pharm just after the year-end. As well as being delighted to have ASK Pharm as our partner, the US$11.4 million upfront has further bolstered our balance sheet as we seek to conclude US partnering discussions,” Sterritt said.
Shares in Shield were down 0.9p at 163.6p in early deals.