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AFT Pharmaceuticals expects to break even this year despite launch delays

Friday 3rd August 2018

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AFT Pharmaceuticals, which makes the Maxigesic painkiller, continues to target reaching breakeven by the end of this financial year regardless of whether it obtains any additional licensing income. 

In the last financial year to the end of March, its loss narrowed to $12.7 million from $18.4 million,

Chair David Flacks told shareholders at the annual general meeting in Auckland today that Maxigesic is now licensed in 125 countries – up from 110 at the end of its 2017 financial year – and the company is registered and selling Maxigesic in 10 countries.

In speech notes posted on the stock exchange, he said negotiating a licensing agreement “can take considerable time,” with the registration process alone taking six months to three years.

“We had hoped that towards the end of the last financial year that we might have secured one or two significant licensing deals – but we are being very careful to ensure that we sign with the right partners,” he said, adding that a number of parties are currently doing due diligence.

In a PowerPoint presentation, the company said “numerous” registrations are underway but “launches have been delayed due to regulatory procedures in EU.” It provided no further detail. 

However, “as previously indicated to the market, we are targeting reaching breakeven by the end of this financial year, and we remain confident of doing so irrespective of whether we receive any additional licensing income this year,” said Flacks. 

AFT held cash and equivalents of $6.8 million as at March 31. A $7.1 million net drawdown on its loan with shareholder Capital Royal Group (CRG) helped keep the coffers full.

Flacks also told shareholders that CRG offered a new five to six-year term to extend the existing capital facility and to expand the available capital to between US$40 million and US$50 million.

“The company will update the market if it agrees to take up this option,” he said.

As of March 31, AFT owed CRG $30.7 million.

The shares last traded down 2.1 percent at $2.30 and are up 2.2 percent this year. 


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