More bad news for Neil Woodford-backed US biotech company Northwest Biotherapeutics

William Turvill
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Neil Woodford invested $180m (£140m) in the US biotech company

A US biotech company backed by Neil Woodford has warned it may not survive without more cash.

Woodford’s $180m (£140m) investment in Northwest Biotherapeutics has been plagued by bad news for more than a year.

Shares in the company, a new brain cancer treatment developer, plummeted in the months after Woodford’s 2014 investment and the company delisted from Nasdaq in December last year.

Read more: Woodford-backed Allied Minds dives on restructuring writedown costs

The fund manager then effectively wrote off the company’s chances of turning its fortunes around.

The Sunday Times reported that the $180m investment had at that point dwindled down to $15m.

In its monthly roundup to investors in January, Woodford Investment Management said:

[T]he decision to invest in Northwest Biotherapeutics was an error of judgement. We were initially attracted to the company’s unique technology. From the outset, we were aware of the potential governance issues but we underestimated their extent. Furthermore, we overestimated our ability to influence change at the company.

Read more: Woodford fund breezes past £10bn marker

Last week, the company issued a warning statement to the Securities Exchange Commission.

It said: “Our independent auditors have indicated in their report on our 31 December 2016 financial statements that there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”

The firm also revealed that regulators were investigating its business practices.

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