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Ardana Plc LSE:ARA London Ordinary Share GB00B065JS90 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 6.40p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0 06:30:09
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Mining 0.3 -12.2 -18.9 - 4.19

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n_w_b: Ardana bounces back on bid talk « Previous « PreviousNext » Next » View GalleryBy HAMISH RUTHERFORD ARDANA shares bounced back yesterday after the Edinburgh-based biotech firm said raising the "for sale" sign had prompted a high level of interest. The firm, which focuses on treatments related to human reproductive health, said last month it was seeking a sale or merger with a company using the cash to develop its portfolio. The announcement came at a time when investor appetite for risky, early-stage biotech investments was at its lowest in decades, prompting shares to fall. But yesterday the group, led by chief executive Huw Jones, said interest had already led to "a number" of approaches which could lead to a bid. "Given the level of interest to date, the board sees no reason for the significant fall in share price," Ardana told investors. Shares immediately responded, closing up 9p, almost doubling their value, at 18.5p. Finance director Graham Lee said "a significant number" of parties had expressed an interest in buying the whole company, while others had approached Ardana about acquiring certain parts of the portfolio. While he conceded that sentiment in the sector was low, making raising cash extremely difficult, a shortage of new products being developed made the market for deals buoyant in comparison. "I think there's still quite a lot of appetite to do deals, because all of the larger companies are needing products," he added. Potential suitors ranged from large pharmaceutical companies through to small cash-rich biotechs, Lee said. A major licensing deal for part of the company's portfolio could see it maintained as a going concern, but Lee suggested this was unlikely. "We obviously consider that the best option is to merge or be sold. That's the process we're going through now, but we have had quite a lot of interest for our products ... and if somebody comes in with a really slam dunk opportunity then obviously we have to consider it."
chesty1: Taken from a previous post pow... What a sad story; all the products are valued at nothing. ???? Ardana chief executive plays down new share-price low as 'irrelevant' ARDANA plunged to a fresh low of 9p yesterday, valuing the Edinburgh-based pharmaceutical company at roughly its bank balance. Chief executive Huw Jones insisted last night that the firm, which is seeking a merger with a cash-rich group, was pleased with the progress it was making, and dismissed the share slide, on light trading, as "irrelevant". Ardana dropped 2p to 9p, the company is now valued at just under £5.9 million, compared with its cash pile of £6.1m last month.
n_w_b: What a sad story; all the products are valued at nothing. ???? Ardana chief executive plays down new share-price low as 'irrelevant' ARDANA plunged to a fresh low of 9p yesterday, valuing the Edinburgh-based pharmaceutical company at roughly its bank balance. Chief executive Huw Jones insisted last night that the firm, which is seeking a merger with a cash-rich group, was pleased with the progress it was making, and dismissed the share slide, on light trading, as "irrelevant". Ardana dropped 2p to 9p, the company is now valued at just under £5.9 million, compared with its cash pile of £6.1m last month.
february 30th: Why didn't they sort out their funding issues when the price was over a pound? Was a placing at that level, or even at big discount from that, impossible? And to leave the issue open, in the public domain, is surely asking for the share price to be pushed down.
gnomet2: Another mention in the IC Even if we have to wait a bit longer for a deal - which could rocket the share price - I think phase II results for tev should be due very soon, and that could give the price a nice lift.
n_w_b: Ardana in 'advanced' talks on drug licence HAMISH RUTHERFORD ( ARDANA, the Edinburgh-based specialist pharmaceutical, said it is in advanced talks for a licensing agreement for one of its key treatments. Announcing interim results yesterday, the company said it was close to signing a deal with a partner to help pay for the remaining trials and commercialisation for Teverelix. Chief executive Maureen Lindsay said the negotiations were at a sensitive stage, but the company was confident a deal could be completed before the phase-three trials for the drug are begun, currently expected for summer 2007. Teverelix is an injection treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlargement of the prostate gland, a common condition for males over the age of 50, causing urinary troubles. Ardana said phase-two trials showed the drug showed improvement in some patients after less than a fortnight, and lasted up to eight weeks. Teverelix is expected to become a key drug for the company, with sales potentially running to hundreds of millions. The company also announced its non-oral erectile dysfunction treatment, Invicorp, is now available for sale in Denmark. In the six months to 30 September, it recorded a pre tax loss of £5.5million, compared with a loss of 3.6m in the same period last year. The widening losses came as research and development costs surged by more than 70 per cent. The losses and the cash position of £13.7m were slightly better than forecast as the company made some overhead savings. Research and development costs are expected to almost double in the second half, to around £12m for the full year, with brokers forecasting a full-year loss of around £16m. The share price dropped 0.5p to 113.5p.
n_w_b: Taken from last weeks IC 10 November 2006 Biotech's best bets If your fingertips are still burning from your brush with online gambling, steel yourself. It's fair to say that picking biotechnology stocks can often feel like playing the roulette wheel, too. That's because it's impossible to know whether a new drug that scientific boffins are developing will ever gain approval. The statistics speak for themselves. With the soaring cost of regulation, it now takes up to $1.2bn to take a new drug from the test tube to the market, and only one in 10 products will be a success. There can also be plenty of hot air from companies about what they will achieve, not to mention the ramping-up of some shares on bulletin boards. What's more, firms that claim to have a blockbuster can run short of cash and either collapse, as with PPL Therapeutics, or be taken private at a fraction of what analysts once forecast they were worth, like Xenova. Indeed, German company TeGenero, which was behind the botched drug trial at Northwick Park this year, recently went into liquidation. But as well as the risks, there can be real rewards for some lucky investors. Those who took our advice to buy shares in Cambridge Antibody Technology at 678p (24 February 2006) saw their investment double when it was snapped up by AstraZeneca for 1,320p a share in May. Then investors in Neutec Pharma were similarly rewarded with a takeover by Novartis at 1,050p a share in June - a premium of over 100 per cent to the share price prior to the announcement. This suggests that there may be an approach that investors can take to make the investment process more like a game of poker, involving some skill, rather than a game of chance. It isn't based on traditional measures such as the price-earning ratio, but instead relies on other checks that you can make. First, consider the reputation of the management team. It might seem strange in a sector so focused on science, but often the credibility and experience of management can be more important than the technology. "Investors should think about the company's track record in terms of delivery," says Sam Fazeli, managing director of European equity research at analyst Piper Jaffray. "Is it a management team that can achieve?" Of course, the products are also important, too. So you should look for a company with a decent pipeline, with plenty of drugs at different stages in the clinic and hopefully with a potential blockbuster. But if the product fails, you also want a management team that can let go and pursue an alternative strategy. "You don't want a chief executive that's fallen in love with his own product [and won't abandon it if it doesn't work]," warns Brett Pollard, analyst at Numis Securities. "And you want a portfolio of [different] products, rather than a platform technology." Many biotechs are run by scientists, some of whom have spent many years working on a drug. They may find it heart-wrenching to throw that hard work away if the product flunks the trials, but a decent management team will do exactly that. Dr Pollard also points out that you should look for companies that conduct thorough clinical trials, with a placebo comparison if appropriate, because this is what pharmaceutical company partners will expect. If the trials aren't conducted properly, the results could be misleading and the drug could fall over further down the line in trials that are more expensive. That means money is wasted. "You've got to look at the management," he says. "And when you're backing management, you've got to ensure that Phase I and II trials are done properly. For example, proper Phase II trials need a significant amount of patients, not just 10, or the company is limiting its chance of success in Phase III." Cash, too, is an obvious box that needs ticking. Does the biotech have enough funds - ideally two years' cash - and, if not, will investors welcome a fund-raising? "You want a company that's well-cashed," says Dr Pollard. "The smaller the market capitalisation, the more difficult it is to raise money." A further factor to consider, given the flurry of summer takeovers, is whether your company could attract a predator. "Is this a company with assets that could be attractive for acquisition?" asks Dr Fazeli. "I think the fewer licensing deals that a company has done, the more likely they are to be acquired." But Dr Fazeli adds that investors shouldn't expect a quick fix. "Patience is a significant virtue here," he says. "Think about the long term. Many successful [US] companies have many false starts. Some of these companies have been almost bankrupt at some points. But [by investing in biotech], you could potentially have a piece of action that could make a difference in somebody's life. It's not like investing in a bakery." Above all, though, you should take a portfolio approach, and buy shares in a number of different biotech companies in the hope that the winners will compensate for the losers. Ultimately, it's down to the individual investor to do their homework. "It's a stock-picking environment," says Dr Pollard. "You've got to do your own research." So, with that in mind, we've researched six of what we consider are the best-quality quoted biotech companies in the UK. ARDANA - BUY Unlike other companies on this list, Ardana is a relative newcomer to the sector. The Scottish biotech joined the main market in 2005, and focuses on the human reproductive health market, worth almost $26bn a year. It is well-funded and has a well-balanced product pipeline. Ardana's most exciting product is Teverelix, which analysts think could be a blockbuster. It is under development as a drug for prostate cancer, prostate enlargement and endometriosis. Combined, these markets are worth up to $9bn a year in sales, and the company is busy conducting licensing negotiations with potential partners. The talks are taking longer than expected as new parties have entered the discussions, but chief executive Maureen Lindsay hopes to land a deal soon. Ardana also has its own sales and marketing team, and currently sells Striant, a testosterone-replacement therapy, direct to specialist doctors. Other products are also due to be launched soon, too, including injectable ED product Invicorp, which targets patients who are unable to take other drugs due to heart problems. Invicorp should launch this year, while testosterone cream Testo is due for launch in 2007. In addition, in September Ardana raised £10m to fund development of growth hormone product GHS, and to launch Emselex, an overactive bladder drug in-licensed from Novartis.
n_w_b: A few bits from Piper Jaffray's research note on July 13th Product pipeline shows significant progress. The progress in Ardana's product pipeline has been significant during the past 12 months, with the most important development being the Phase II data from Teverelix and regulatory clarity on the next steps in prostate cancer and BPH - with the timelines on the potential launch for the BPH indication brought forward by 2 years from 2012 to 2010. Strong news flow expected. Ardana is moving into a period of very strong news flow, with product launches, late stage clinical data and potential deals both on the out-licensing and in-licensing front. We believe that the majority of this news will be positive and should help close at least some of the chasm that exists between our estimate of the company's worth (EV of £227.5m, $421m) and the value ascribed to it by the market (EV of £50m, $89m). Sufficient cash to H1-08, without any licensing deals. We have updated our forecasts to take account of the full year results to 31 March 2006 and used this opportunity to tweak our sales forecasts to reflect the slightly later impact of the European launch of Striant. Ardana's cash of £19.1m at YE-06 (March) is sufficient to take the company through to fiscal H1-08. It is important to note that our forecasts do not include any upfront/milestone payments associated with licensing deals. Change in price target methodology. We have updated our discount rate methodology to take account of the increased risk free rate and equity risk premium. We are also using different betas depending on the stage of development of the company. Our new price target methodology is described in full in this note. Our new DCF-based 12 month price target is 298p. New price target We are expecting a lot of news from Ardana over the next 12 months. This includes the conclusion of the main Phase IIb programme for Teverelix, allowing the product to move into Phase III in 2007, the start and completion of the Phase III trial for Testo-Cream, the launch of Invicorp and the start of Phase II trials with EP1572. We believe the chances of failure on all these fronts is minimal. Building these changes into our model lifts our NPV to £328.6m, i.e. 591.4p per share (Exhibit 7). This represents a 172p upside potential on our current DCF calculation and, based on the VWAP15 of 125.9p, would suggest a price target of 297.9p. This still leaves more upside from the potential impact of licensing news. However, as none of the original VC backers have yet reduced their stakes in the company, we believe that significant share price appreciation is likely to be met with some selling pressure from VCs. To arrive at an estimate of the price at which VCs may be happy to sell, we have looked at the recent example of Vectura. Vectura priced its June 2004 IPO at 56p, giving it a valuation which, similar to Ardana (IPO price 128p), did not provide a significant uplift on the last VC post-money valuation. The majority of the VC selling on Vectura came at around 85p and 125p, i.e. 52% and 100% above the IPO price. Thus, we believe it is unlikely that VC selling pressure will materialise until Ardana's stock is well over 200p. At the analyst presentation, Ardana also discussed a potential product in-licensing opportunity with a global pharmaceutical company. Although not many details are available yet, the company did indicate that, should the deal be completed, it will involve the UK rights to an approved product, which has excellent synergies with its current portfolio, and could be launched by the end of the year. As the deal has not yet been completed, we have not factored in any revenues from this product. Beyond the changes mentioned above, we have not changed our models. Licensing discussions ongoing Ardana has been looking at various partnering options for Teverlix over the past 9 months. We understand there are parties interested in licensing the product prior to the release of any further data and there are those that would rather wait until after the ongoing Phase IIs report, i.e. look to sign a deal in H1-07 rather than H2-06. Also, the company has announced that there have been two late entries into the fray, both of which, Ardana believes, would be excellent partners. We continue to believe that Teverelix ticks all the necessary boxes to make it a highly desirable product and think that the probability of licensing deal in 2006 is quite high: EP 01572-Growth Hormone Secretagogue We believe that EP 01572 has significant sales potential and could be the subject of a licensing deal sooner rather than later. What about the US market? We believe Ardana has a number of ways for building its US operations, given that it has two products in relatively late stage of development (Testo Cream and Teverelix) which could be on the market in 2008 and 2009, respectively. These options are: • Retain US co-marketing rights for some of the indications of Teverelix. Use the upfront payments and milestones to build a small specialty sales force. • Do a licensing deal where the partner would pay for a sales force which will co-market Teverelix, with a structure similar to the deal between Endo and Vernalis. This sales force can then market Testo Cream. • Partner/merge/acquire a small US company of similar size which has a complementary business model and a small niche sales force. We believe that there are a number of such potential opportunities in the US. This sales force can then be leveraged in a co-marketing deal for Teverelix.
n_w_b: Piper Jaffray's latest research note, following the results. "We believe that the potential of Ardana's product pipeline is under-appreciated by the equity market: our current DCF valuation of the company (498p), is more than 300% above the current share price."
fickena: Edinburgh-based biotech Ardana (ARA) joined the main market last March and since then its pipeline drugs have made good progress. Its leadproduct is its Teverelix compound, which is currently in Phase II trials for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP) and prostate cancer and in Phase I trials for endometriosis. The company is on the lookout for a licensing partner to take it through Phase III studies and is expected to secure a deal this year. It could license the product for the various indications separately or it could find individual partners for each product. Either way, when the deal comes it should be a huge catalyst for the company's share price. The market for BHP is worth around $500 million a year in the US while the market for prostate cancer is around $3 billion world wide. Analysts have target prices for the shares in a 285-330p range, which is a massive leap from their current 128p level. ■ Shares says: Phosphagenics and Ark should both see their shares rise on the back of good news this year, but the size of the markets for the products being developed by Alizyme, Plethora and Ardana means that shares in these companies could really rocket once licensing deals are announced.
Ardana share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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