Healthy return: Stockopedia speaks to Nick Ash, Managing Director of healthcare and pharma services group, Source BioScience plc

Thursday, Aug 26 2010 by
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Healthy return Stockopedia speaks to Nick Ash Managing Director of healthcare and pharma services group Source BioScience plc

When Nick Ash took the reigns as managing director of Source Bioscience (LON:SBS) in February 2007, the company was facing a crisis. Several years on London’s Alternative Investment Market had failed to produce a profit and a string of strategy hiccups had left it flailing and over-exposed to non-core markets. In the years that followed Ash’s transition from FD to CEO, he worked closely with chairman Laurie Turnbull (who recently stepped down as chairman of insurance group CBG Group - LON:CB.) to get the business back on its feet. By 2009 it was posting its first ever profits and this week Ash came back to the market to report that the business had remained in positive territory through the first half of 2010.

Source BioScience is a healthcare and biotechnology company that provides outsourced diagnostic and screening services to the healthcare sector together with genetic analyses and biomolecular tools and products to the life science research and pharma biotech sectors. The two sides of the business are broadly even in size and revenue and benefited from the bolt-on acquisitions of Geneservice in June 2007 for £3.9m and Autogen Bioclear in February 2008 for £6.0m. Those deals were partly funded by a £16m war chest generated by the sale back in 2007 of some non-core hospital laboratories in Dubai. Still Ash and Turnbull are sitting on £5.5m of that cash and are keen to expand with more acquisitions.

In the six months to June 31, 2010 the company delivered a modest rise in revenue to £6.9m and a pre-tax profit flat at £0.1m. Those figures compared well against an exceptional performance in the first half of 2009, when the death of reality TV star Jade Goody triggered a surge in demand for cervical screening – one of the company’s specialisations. A series of contract wins, including the award of a cervical screening deal in Wales worth £5.0m over five years have kept up the company’s strong momentum. Stockopedia spoke to Nick Ash about Source BioScience’s journey into profit and the opportunities that he sees to expand the group even further.

Nick, back in 2007 your main focus was on turning Source BioScience into a focused, profitable business. How have things progressed since then and what impact has the recession had on you?

From a business point of view, over the last 18…

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AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on discovery and development of products, which are then manufactured, marketed and sold. The Company focuses on three main therapy areas: Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory, while selectively pursuing therapies in Autoimmunity, Infection and Neuroscience. In CVMD, it is expanding its portfolio into the cardiovascular-renal area with late-stage assets, such as ZS-9 and roxadustat, as well as investing to explore the benefits of its SGLT2 and GLP-1 franchises in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and heart failure (HF). The Company has approximately 40 projects in Phase I, including 29 new molecular entities (NMEs), and 11 oncology combination projects. It has approximately 40 projects in Phase II, including 25 NMEs; four significant additional indications for projects that have reached phase II, and seven oncology combination projects. more »

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