- Destiny Pharma reported wider losses as it ramped up R&D spend to address the need for new drugs to prevent and treat life-threatening infections caused by anti-microbial resistance.

For 2018, pre-tax losses widened to £6m from £3.2m a year earlier as R&D costs soared to £3.5m from £0.8m a year earlier.

During 2018, Destiny Pharma continued to progress its clinical pipeline and had finalised the Phase 2b clinical development plans for its lead asset, XF-73.

XF-73 had been shown to kill bacteria very rapidly and may be an effective new treatment in the reduction of bacterial infections in hospital patients, including those caused by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the company said.

Despite the surge in cost, the company said it remained well funded to the second half of 2020.

'We have made significant progress in the first full year following our IPO in September 2017, delivering on key targets set out at the time, including a number of clinical development objectives, and the Company remains well funded to H2 2020,' said Neil Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Destiny Pharma.

'Our lead clinical candidate, XF-73 nasal is being developed as a preventative treatment reducing the carriage of Staphylococcus aureus with the intention of preventing post-surgical hospital infections; a $1 billion peak sales market opportunity. During April 2019 we will initiate the important Phase 2b clinical trial in this setting and will complete recruitment later this year.'

'Whilst our main focus is on our lead asset we are also continuing to progress our earlier XF pipeline having won three grants to support this workstream. There is continuing international support for the development of novel anti-infective drugs that address the issue of anti-microbial resistance and Destiny Pharma's unique platform is well-positioned to meet this global need.' At 10:02am: [LON:DEST] Destiny Pharma Plc share price was 0p at 84p

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