- Diurnal's operating losses rose to £12.1m in the year to the end of June - up from £7.0m in 2016.

The the speciality pharmaceutical company targeting patient needs in chronic endocrine (hormonal) diseases said the increase reflected increased investment to support the group's anticipated development.

Cash and cash equivalents and held to maturity financial assets totalled £19.9m (2016: £30.1m).

The group said net cash used in operating activities was £10.5m (2016: £5.1m), in line with the goard's expectations .

Chief executive Martin Whitaker said: "Diurnal has delivered key milestones this year; notably, we have successfully completed the registration study and subsequent regulatory submission of Infacort in Europe, with market authorisation anticipated towards the end of 2017, and commenced the build out of the Group's commercial capability in Europe, with first revenues expected in 2018.

"Also due in the first half of 2018 is the result of the Chronocort European Phase III trial, with the potential for marketing authorisation in 2019.

"With a combined market for Infacort and Chronocort estimated to be in excess of 400,000 patients, we believe that the potential for Diurnal over the next 12 months looks very positive."

Separately, Diurnal announced the grant of its first US patent for Chronocort, the company's second late-stage product. US 9,750,704, entitled 'Delayed and Immediate Release Formulation', is a pharmaceutical composition of matter patent protecting the Chronocort' proprietary formulation as a treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and adrenal insufficiency (AI).

The patent provides in-market protection until 2033. Diurnal said the patent expanded the company's exclusivity position in the US, where Chronocort had already received Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of both CAH and AI from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which provided the potential for seven years of market exclusivity awarded on approval.

At 8:09am: [LON:DNL] Diurnal Group Plc share price was 0p at 132.5p

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