- Iron deficiency focused Shield Therapeutics swung to a first-half loss after costs rose and sales fell due to a large licensing payment being booked in the prior year.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £7.6 million, compared to a year-on-year profit of £2.7 million.

Revenue of £0.5 million dropped from £8.9 million year-on-year, when the company received an upfront payment from ASK Pharm for a license agreement for the development of Feraccru in China.

Costs increased due, in part, to pre-launch costs in the US and R&D spending.

Operational highlights during the period included Accrufer being launched in US on 1 July and Chinese authorities confirming a regulatory approval pathway for Feraccru.

'The first six months of 2021 have been a truly pivotal and exciting period for Shield which opens up the prospect of substantially greater shareholder value for investors,' chief executive Greg Madison said.

'During the first quarter the group's US strategy transitioned from an out-licence approach to one of launching Accrufer ourselves in the US, and the successful fundraise in March 2021 provided the financial resources for the launch.'

'In the second quarter a huge amount of planning and implementation was completed which allowed us to launch Accrufer on 1 July and I am pleased with progress to date.'

'With Accrufer now available in the US, and Feraccru available in Europe, I am excited about the long-term prospects for our products and Shield.'

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