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Creditors to gain from Cambridge biotech sales

The joint administrators of Cambridge-based Biotica Technology have made four major asset sales to raise almost £500,000 that should provide significant returns to the company’s creditors. After a marketing campaign to 96 companies worldwide, two sales have been made in the US, one in Sweden and one in the UK. The sales should also ensure that the work previously carried out by Biotica should continue and the sale in the UK should result in the new owners continuing the science.

Joint administrator, Chris McKay, said: “The challenge with Bio-tech companies is understanding what it is that you have to sell and maintaining the team that can deliver the tech transfer.  You have to be realistic about valuation as there is nearly always more investment required to commercialise the product.”

He added: “In Cambridge the focus is on research and development which requires several funding rounds.  At each round the investors ask themselves is the research likely to deliver and if it isn’t the funding can stop pretty fast.  This is a key risk that directors of such companies must consider because once the next round of funding starts to look unlikely their options narrow very quickly.”

Established in 1996, Biotica specialised in the discovery of novel polyketide therapeutics to create new medicines for serious diseases but entered administration earlier this year after exhausting funding options. The sales have been challenging as the assets sold include plant and machinery, patents and intellectual property as well as physical bacterial strains.

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