Biotech firm Galapagos ups 2014 cash guidance

BRUSSELS Fri Aug 8, 2014 1:59am EDT

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BRUSSELS Aug 8 (Reuters) - Belgian biotech group Galapagos on Friday said it expected to have more cash at the end of 2014 than initially thought, following the sale of a unit in the first half of the year.

Galapagos, which develops several new drugs in association with large pharma firms, said its cash position at the end of the first half was 232 million euros ($309.93 million) and it expected to have 175 million euros of cash at the end of the year.

The group had previously guided for a year-end cash position of 170 million.

Excluding the sale of its services unit, the group burned through 15 million euros of cash in the first half, to fund its various clinical studies and trials.

In the next 18 months, Galapagos said, it expected several test results to become available, traditionally a stronger trigger for the shares than quarterly results.

The company said one of its partners, pharma group GSK , had decided to end work on its drug GSK2586184 for treatment of ulcerative colitis and psoriasis and was now considering how to proceed with the project.

Galapagos said a new type of antibiotic it was researching to combat the MRSA bug would be tested on volunteers in early 2015. ($1=0.7486 Euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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