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Biocompatibles says 2009 was ‘excellent’ and guides for 13 pct revenue rise in 2010

Medical technology group Biocompatibles International PLC (LSE: BII) said it had an “excellent year in 2009”, and that revenue and year-end cash levels came in ahead of its previous guidance.  It is forecasting an around 13 percent rise in revenue for the full-year 2010 and plans to pay a dividend of 6.25 pence a share, a 25 percent rise over the 2009 maiden payout.

In as trading statement, the company said 2009 revenue came to £26.6 million, representing growth of 50 percent on 2008, or up 29 percent on a constant currency basis, and above previous guidance of between £24 and £26 million. Year-end net funds of £30.5 million compared with previous guidance of £28 million.

The drug-eluting beads spacialist is forecasting 2010 revenue in the £28 to £32 million range, a 13 percent increase on 2009 at the mid-point and 21 percent on a constant currency basis. Closing cash is expected at £25 million after payment of the dividend of £2.5 million. Bead sales grew 100 percent, or 73 percent on a constant currency basis, to £12.0 million.

Finance director Ian Ardill commented: "The company had an excellent year in 2009. Our Oncology Products Division delivered strong sales growth and partnered with Eisai for the DC Bead in Japan. Elsewhere in the company, payment of our maiden dividend and AstraZeneca's agreement to take the CM3 protein into the clinic were highlights. We look forward to maintaining our progress in 2010 and the confidence of the board in the outlook for the company is reflected in the proposed increase in the dividend."

In the period, Biocompatibles reached the first operating goal of having the first patient treated in Bayer's ‘SPACE’ trial, using the company’s drug-eluting beads to administer Nexavar to treat inoperable liver cancer. The trial is currently recruiting patients and it will report on any information released by Bayer.

The launch of DC Bead in China, planned for 2009, was not achieved. Biocompatibles announced in August 2009 that its marketing partner, SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc, had     reported that a small trial was required in China and that regulatory approval was not expected until the second half of 2010.

Early in December 2009, the company and  AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) announced that they will initiate clinical trials for their jointly developed type II anti-diabetes drug CM3 in January after the pre-clinical phase of the programme was completed ahead of schedule.

Completion of the recruitment in the CellBeads stroke trial, initially planned for 2009, is now expected for the end of 2010.

Biocompatibles laid out its principal 2010 operating goals: It plans to complete recruitment in the CM3 Phase I clinical trials in Type 2 Diabetes and commence recruitment in the CM3 Phase II clinical trial. Both are being conducted as part of the cooperation with AstraZeneca.

It also plans to file for regulatory submission for the DC Bead in Japan, complete recruitment in the clinical trial supporting the DC Bead regulatory submission for China, and to provide updates for its main  drug-eluting bead clinical trials, which include SPACE, PARAGON II and PARAGON Louisville.

Disclosure: The author does not hold positions in the company