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23 Feb 2021 | 16:23

Alkindi sales drive revenue higher for Diurnal

(Sharecast News) - Speciality pharmaceuticals company Diurnal reported 6% growth in first-half total revenue in its interim results on Tuesday, to £1.21m. The AIM-traded firm said product sales of 'Alkindi' for the six months ended 31 December increased to £1.19m, representing year-on-year growth of 4%.

It said the roll-out of Alkindi in all markets was "significantly impacted" by Covid-19 restrictions and the ability of patients to visit hospitals, and the resulting restriction on the ability of physicians to switch patients to Alkindi.

Despite those restrictions, revenues for Alkindi® products grew by over 20% in the UK and Germany.

Diurnal reported an operating loss for the six months of £5.26m, which was 15% wider than the same time 12 months prior, which the directors said reflected increased investment in the product pipeline and preparations for the anticipated Europe launch of 'Chronocort'.

Cash and cash equivalents at 31 December stood at £20.34m, up from £15.43m year-on-year.

The company noted that it completed a placing and open offer in October, raising £9.8m before expenses, primarily to fund the development of 'DITEST' and other pipeline opportunities.

"Diurnal has continued to make excellent progress during the period in making Alkindi available to patients around the world," said chief executive officer Martin Whitaker.

"Notably, Alkindi Sprinkle received regulatory approval in the US and was subsequently launched there by our partner, Eton.

"We are pleased with the growth in Alkindi revenues, despite previously highlighted pandemic-related restrictions in Europe, and look forward to this growth accelerating, especially when pandemic restrictions begin to lift."

Dr Whitaker said that looking forward, the company's commercial focus was now on preparing for the expected approval and initial launches of Chronocort in congenital adrenal hyperplasia during 2021, to significantly expand its European cortisol deficiency franchise towards profitability.

"Separately, we continue to make good progress in development activities with Chronocort in the US and Japan, as well as potential indication expansion into adrenal insufficiency.

"In addition, we are preparing for the next phase of development of DITEST in the US as an innovative, testosterone-based, potential treatment for hypogonadism and this is a major commercial opportunity within our pipeline of products."

At 1243 GMT, shares in Diurnal Group were down 4.15% at 58.95p.
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