Belgium's Ablynx increases cash position after Merck payment

BRUSSELS Wed May 14, 2014 2:00am EDT

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BRUSSELS May 14 (Reuters) - Belgian biotech group Ablynx said its cash reserves increased in the first quarter after an upfront payment from Merck & Co as part of a research deal for immune oncology.

The group, which develops a series of experimental drugs based on the nanobodies found in llamas, repeated it expected to use 30 to 35 million euros ($41.1-$48.0 mln) of these reserves in 2014 as it continued to invest in the development and clinical trials of its medicines.

Ablynx said that its cash reserves grew by 2.8 million euros in the first quarter to 203 million.

The group increased its first quarter revenues by 115 percent from the same period last year to 11.2 million euros, with its net loss shrinking to 2.8 million euros from 6.7 million in the first quarter of 2013. ($1 = 0.7296 Euros) ($1 = 0.7296 Euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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