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12:00 AM
 | 
Aug 16, 2004
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Vernalis completes its detour

Most investors gave Vernalis plc up for a goner after the company began to run out of money in 2002 and Roche dropped its option to license an adenosine A2A antagonist program to treat depression in 2003. By mid-2003, Vernalis was left with £17.8 million ($29.6 million) in cash and obligations to pay out £22 million ($36 million) over the next two years to partner Elan Corp. plc to help pay for further trials of migraine drug Frova frovatriptan.

The company began to dig itself out of its hole using a strategy of reinvention through M&A. Last year it merged with British Biotech plc, which previously had merged with RiboTargets Ltd. (see BioCentury, July 14, 2003). The merger gave Vernalis a new CEO and management team, a broader clinical pipeline, including a compound in Phase II testing, and a structure-based small molecule discovery platform (see BioCentury, March 24, 2003).

But the plan ran into a stumbling block in April when Vernalis...

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