Lombard Medical Technologies expands Prestwick plant

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LIFE sciences firm Lombard Medical Technologies yesterday unveiled plans to expand its operations in Prestwick as it gears up for the launch of its flagship device in the United States.

The Oxfordshire-based company’s “stents” are used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), which occur when the aorta – the main artery, which carries blood from the heart to the lower parts of the body – swells up and splits. In February, Lombard was given permission to sell its “Aorfix” stent – which is more flexible than other products and so can be used to treat AAAs with unusual shapes – by the US Food and Drug Administration.

In yesterday’s full-year results, the company revealed it will grow its operations in Ayrshire and Oxfordshire ahead of Aorfix going on sale in the US, although the firm remained tight-lipped over specific details of its expansion plan. Pre-tax losses narrowed to £8.6 million in 2012 from £11.4m, while revenues edged down to £3.9m from £4m.

But Julie Simmonds, an analyst at Canaccord Adams, said: “Revenues were flat, caused by distributor destocking, which disguised a 13 per cent increase in patient volume. Strong growth in Germany shows the strength of the direct distribution model.

“Aorfix will see rapid adoption in the US and ultimately bring Lombard to the attention of the medical device majors.”