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17 August, 2006 - 08:41 By Staff Reporter

BioProgress advances spark share climb

A successful EU device registration and advances in trials for products under development fuelled a 15 per cent increase in the share price of local pill-coating specialist, BioProgress.

The 6.25 pence rise took the price up to 47.75 a share in light of the accompanying news that the firm had appointed its third finance director in the last four months.

The Cambridge pill-coating specialist is to place its innovative TabWrap™ tablet-coating machine into a UK-based cGMP pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing facility by Q4 of this year with stability trials of new TabWrap products due to commence in the first half of 2007.

BioProgress is working with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies on new TabWrap products, a core technology for the firm which takes solid tablet cores and coats them with a non-gelatin layer of XGEL film. This technology is in direct competition with the gelatin-coated tablet market.

The company has also announced the successful completion of initial technical trials of a new enabling technology, EntWrap™, which is a novel enteric coating system that makes use of both XGEL and TabWrap technology.

Enteric coatings enable tablets to pass through the acidic stomach environment and into the intestines, where active ingredients can be more rapidly absorbed. The market potential for enteric coated tablets, a key component for a number of prescription medicines, is significantly greater than the gelatin coating market.

Richard Trevillion, CEO of BioProgress, said: “With the installation of the first TabWrap machine later this year, we anticipate an aggressive development programme of products. We will either market these ourselves or in partnership with other pharmaceutical companies. These developments are expected to generate revenues during 2007.”

BioProgress’ Ronflux Nasal Spray – an over the counter anti-snoring device – obtained EU CE mark registration as a medical device through the company’s French pharmaceutical division, Laboratoires Pharmaceutiques Dexo, facilitating the partnering of its product in the EU and other territories worldwide.

Trevillion said: “Whilst this product can already be sold over the counter, the registration will aid partnering of the product in a number of markets. The market for all snoring remedies is rapidly growing, with a market estimation of approximately €50m (£33.7m) just within the EU.”

The appointment of Hiral Patel to the position of group finance director follows the surprise resignation of Peter Keen who cited a difference in management style at the company. Hatel will become the third BioProgress CFO in the last four months.

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