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Australian article

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    Biotech Alchemia to sell off assets, return capital to shareholders
    The Australian
    CANCER drug maker Alchemia $ACL will look to sell its assets and return capital to shareholders as another Australian biotech bites the dust. The sale process follows a strategic review by the company, in dire straits since announcing the failure of the Phase III trial of its colorectal cancer drug in October.
    Shares in the Brisbane-based company fell again yesterday on news of the sale process, diving 17 per cent, or 1.5c, to close at 7.5c. This is a far cry from the 62c they were trading at in October before the company announced the drug trial had failed to meet key hurdles required by the US Food and Drug Administration.
    The announcement of the poor results came just weeks after the company’s chief scientist was named Telstra’s Victorian Business Woman of the Year for 2014. In the months since, Alchemia chief executive Thomas Liquard has left the company, with former CEO Tracie Ramsdale taking the helm.
    Alchemia is now headed the way of ASX-listed biotechs QRX Pharma and Acrux, both in the process of selling assets after separate poor trial results in 2014.
    Alchemia owns technology platform HyACT, which helps cancer-fighting drugs target tumours more effectively; fondaparinux sodium, an FDA-approved antithrombotic sold by Dr Reddy’s that generates most of the company’s revenue; a drug discovery platform; and an oncology research business.
    Ms Ramsdale yesterday said the company was targeting paying a dividend to shareholders in the second half of calendar 2015 and would pay out further dividends generated by revenue from fondaparinux, less the costs of running the overall business.
    “Given the substantial tax losses that Alchemia has amassed, it is expected that these future dividends will not have any franking credits attached,” Ms Ramsdale said.
    Morgans analyst Scott Power expected the fondaparinux revenue stream to be worth between 11c and 17c a share. “This is a sensible outcome,” he said.
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