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Vernalis appointments could drive M&A activity

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Vernalis's recent appointment of Ian Garland as CEO and David Mackney as chief financial officer could increase the possibility of the company taking part in consolidation, Piper Jaffray analysts said. The two figures have particular strengths in merger and acquisitions and business divestment as both Mr Garland and Mr Macknay oversawAcambis's acquisition by Sanofi-Aventisin September – Mr Garland as CEO of Acambis and Mr Macknay as chief financial officer. The analysts said that Vernalis's management team now has the experience required for a successful turnaround of the business. Vernalis reiterated its guidance for this year in its interim management statement and the company had cash resources of £22.9 million as of November 14th, which it expects to be sufficient until 2010. The company is currently initiating a Phase IIb study for V3381 for the treatment of neuropathic pain due to diabetes and expects to recruit the first patients by the end of this year. Vernalis is to recruit 150 patients in total at up to 20 sites in the US, Canada and Europe, and expects to receive results in the first half of 2010.

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