GENET archive


7-Business: UK biotech chicken firm TranXenoGen fails to fly

-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Biotech chicken firm TranXenoGen fails to fly
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   28 Jul 2004 

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Biotech chicken firm TranXenoGen fails to fly

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - TranXenoGen Inc, a biotechnology firm
attempting to produce drugs in the eggs of genetically modified chickens,
threw in the towel on Wednesday by announcing plans to sell off its main
assets. The small company, which is based in the United States but listed
in London, said it had failed in attempts to raise fresh funds over the
last six months. As a result, TranXenoGen will slash the workforce to
just three people, who will try to license or sell its technology. The
company's facility in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, will also be put up for
sale, and President and CEO George Uveges will quit on July 31. Shares in
the business fell 62.5 percent to 2.625 pence in early London trade,
valuing it at just 850,000 pounds (USD 1.57 million). Several biotech
groups are working on new ways to produce antibodies and other complex
protein drugs in milk, eggs or farm crops, as a cheap alternative to
making them from cell cultures in stainless steel vats. But the concept
has proved hard to commercialise. Scottish biotech firm PPL Therapeutics
Plc, which helped clone Dolly the sheep, announced plans last month to go
private and return cash to shareholders after failing to get any of its
products to market. TranXenoGen said it made a loss for the six months
ended June 30 of USD 1.7 million, slightly less than the USD 2.1 million
reported a year ago.



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