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Vectura results beat market forecasts as it hikes R&D spending by 10 per cent

INHALED-drug specialist Vectura Group posted a 29 per cent rise in full-year revenue, helped by milestone payments from its partner Novartis, and said it had three new products in development.

The group is developing a generic steroid treatment for asthma and two speciality products: an inhaled anti-fungal treatment for lung-disease sufferers and a product to tackle the rejection of implanted lungs after transplant.

“We are confident we can go into the clinic with the new products and start to move them forward,” chief executive Chris Blackwell said yesterday. “On VR461, an inhaled anti-fungal for underlying lung disease, we hope to start trials in calendar year 2011.”

Vectura, which spends most of its revenues on research and development, ended the year to end-March with cash of £64.1m after upping its R&D spend by 13 per cent.

It said R&D costs would grow another 10 per cent this year as key products, such as VR315, widely said to be a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s lung drug Advair, approached commercialisation.