June 24, 2014 / 6:32 AM / in 4 years

ThromboGenics rules out sale, CFO quits

BRUSSELS, June 24 (Reuters) - Belgian biotech company ThromboGenics said on Tuesday that it had ruled out putting itself up for sale and that its chief financial officer had resigned, a day after its shares fell to a near three-year low.

The company, which announced in February that it was exploring strategic options, said on Tuesday it had looked into the possibility of selling the whole business but had settled on remaining as a stand-alone company.

It said it would pursue discussions towards a possible partnership for eye treatment drug Jetrea in the United States, where ThromboGenics has struggled to ramp up sales since its launch at the start of 2013.

ThromboGenics said it would provide a further update on August 28, when it issues half-year figures.

The group has a marketing agreement with Novartis eye care unit Alcon outside the United States, but in the U.S. is selling Jetrea - a treatment for vitreomacular adhesion, an ageing-related condition that can lead to blindness - on its own.

The company also said that Chris Buyse, its chief financial officer and a board member since its flotation in 2006, would resign at the end of June.

Luc Philips, former chief financial officer of Belgian banking group KBC and a ThromboGenics board member, would become interim-CFO until the company found a permanent successor.

ThromboGenics shares dropped 11.3 percent on Monday to their lowest level since August 2011 as investors lost patience with the company’s review process. The company said its update on Tuesday was a response to market rumours. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)

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