11 April 2000
Dolly company seeks partner

By FWi staff

PPL Therapeutics, the company which cloned Dolly the Sheep, is set to commercialise its first medicines, according to newspaper reports.

The company is on the verge of signing up to a big pharmaceutical company, possibly one of three global players, claims The Guardian.

PPL already has a large stock of genetically altered animals including sheep, cows, rabbits and mice, reports the newspaper.

The new partner will pay for the development and marketing of a protein which PPL has produced in the milk of genetically altered sheep.

The Financial Times says PPLs near fate hangs on the name of the new partner for the AAT protein, which is the companys lead product.

“A big-name pharmaceutical group … would please the market and convince the sceptics that the sheep-derived product is as effective as its blood-based competitors,” comments the paper.

The FT also reports that PPL is considering a partial spin-off of its pig-organs business to raise cash for further research into organ transplants.

According to The Times, the company has cash mountain of about 9.5 million and is burning it at about 800,000 a month.