British Biotech, the former flagship of the UK's biotechnology industry, is to pay a six-figure sum to settle its legal wrangles with Andrew Millar, the company's former director of clinical research who claimed that the company had made misleading statements about the effectiveness of its drugs. The company has also withdrawn its allegations of improper behaviour in return for an end to Dr Millar's proceedings against it. British Biotech will pay Dr Millar's legal fees, thought to be £300,000. The affair began last March after Dr Millar said he had inspected trial data for the company's Zacutex pancreatic and Marismastat cancer drugs that convinced him its optimism over the drugs was misplaced.
The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has also found British Biotech guilty of making 'materially misleading statements' in the press releases on the effectiveness in clinical trials of the cancer drug, Marismastat.
The findings of the lengthy SEC investigation place the blame with Keith McCullagh, James Noble and Peter Lewis - formerly the chief executive, finance director and research and development director of the company. From having been a £2b company, British Biotech is now worth barely £100m and its credibility with investors is in tatters.