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Boost in orders helps Belfast pharma firm enjoy a good half-year

Growth: Paul Kerr

Belfast-based Fusion Antibodies, a pharmaceutical contract research company, has reported revenue of £1.7m for the first half of its financial year 2019/20.

This is a £1m increase on the £700,000 reported in the same period last year.​

The company, which provides its clients with platforms and tools to help them develop drugs, said the performance was driven by an increase in orders.​

Meanwhile, its cash position at September 30, 2019 was £1.3m, according to its interim results.​

During the six-month period Fusion generated its first commercial revenues from Rational Affinity Maturation Platform (RAMP), a service designed to provide customers with improvements to antibody likeness and reduction of other unwanted characteristics.​

The directors of the company, which employs 45 people, said they are "confident" that growth in order levels for existing and new services will continue.​

Paul Kerr, chief executive of Fusion Antibodies, said: "We continued to see good revenue growth during this first six months and have had a strong improvement in the previous six months.​

"We remain confident of an encouraging second half and that the company will achieve significant revenue growth for the full year."​

Founded in 2001 as a spin-out from Queen's University, Fusion started trading on AIM - the section of the London Stock Exchange for smaller companies - in December 2017.​

The company's growth strategy is based on adding new services and expanding its client base.​

Looking forward, Mr Kerr said Fusion's focus over the next 12 months would be on increasing its capabilities and developing products.​

Economic development agency Invest Northern Ireland currently owns 4.4% of the business.

In a note, finance broker SP Angel said: "Trading has definitively recovered for Fusion Antibodies after a disappointing financial year to March 2019, where first-half revenue fell off a cliff.

"The company posted its strongest six-month period to date and management indicated that it is confident about the second half. The group expects to achieve significant revenue growth in the full year."

Fusion Antibodies is joined on AIM by two other Northern Ireland companies, financial software and consulting business First Derivatives, as well as Diaceutics. IT company Kainos is listed on the main London Stock Exchange.

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