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Asterand boosted by tax relief programme in France



Asterand (LON:ATD) is set to boost ties with French biotech companies after it was accredited under a tax relief scheme in the country.

It has been given a tax accreditation that will allow customers in France to receive substantial tax relief for R&D expenditures incurred with Asterand.

"We are pleased to receive this accreditation from the French Ministry of Research,” sales and marketing VP Tom Mander said.

“It makes our full range of human tissue and cell based capabilities commercially attractive to both our existing and prospective French clients looking to engage with Asterand to help validate and accelerate their therapeutic and diagnostic development programmes."

The business is split between two distinct divisions. On one side it supplies human tissue to bio-tech research groups while the BioSeek business - which was acquired last year - adds another dimension to Asterand.

BioSeek is a contract research business that uses proprietary drug profiling technology to assess new drugs as they are being developed.

Recently Vadim Alexandre, bio-tech analyst at Daniel Stewart & Co, gave the stock a 30 pence a share price target because of this new business direction and a major business win in the United States.

Alexandre reckoned the group should be valued at a least two times the 2011 forecast sales.  The hope is that Asterand is able to build on the progress made during 2010, when it landed a prestigious and valuable five-year contract with America’s National Cancer Institute.


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