PPL Therapeutics, the Edinburgh-based biotechnology company that developed Dolly the sheep, reported that its pre-tax losses grew to £14.25 million in 2001/2002 from £11.98 million in the previous year. The losses come despite PPL's announcement of the birth of five cloned piglets earlier this year.
The company has recently suffered a number of setbacks. Last week it announced that it would have to begin a new clinical trial of one of its key drug products, AAT, which has been developed to treat emphysema, after patients began 'wheezing' in clinical trials. It is said that the need to begin the clinical trials again will set the company back by two years and several hundred thousand pounds. The announcement caused a drop in the company's share prices to a record low of 44p.
This latest setback comes after news that Dolly the sheep was ageing prematurely, and that the company's research director, Alan Colman, is leaving to work in Singapore.