- Gene and cell therapy company Oxford Biomedica booked a deeper first-half loss, after sales fell and it upped spending on R&D.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £12.1m, compared to a profit of £5.2m on-year.

Revenues fell 9% to £32.1m, which the company said reflected significant licence income received in the previous year.

Bioprocessing and commercial development revenues rose 23% on-year.

'Oxford Biomedica has continued to make strong progress in first half of 2019 building on the existing and new partnerships signed in 2018,' chief executive John Dawson said.

'We are delighted with the 23% growth in bioprocessing and commercial development revenues and also the new collaborations we have signed with Santen and Microsoft.'

'Our expansion to meet the fast growing demand in the cell and gene therapy arena is progressing as planned and we expect further deals to be signed this year.'

'The addition of Novo Holdings as a shareholder and the paying down of the Oaktree loan puts the group on a far stronger footing to maximise the opportunity we see in front of us.'

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