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Woodford plans to pour £30m into struggling Irish biotech firm

Woodford plans to pour £30m into struggling Irish biotech firm

Neil Woodford has expressed an interest in investing $50 million (£30 million) in an Irish biotech firm as part of a $100 million (£59 million) fundraising.

Prothena Corporation, a clinical stage biotechnology specialist focused on antibody development, is planning to use the proceeds for ongoing research and development purposes.

Shares in Prothena, which is headquartered in Dublin but traded on the Nasdaq, have plunged by 50% over the past three months after its latest trial data proved less positive than investors had hoped.

Despite this Prothena has reported a strong start to the year, with net income of $17.9 million (£10.5 million) in the first quarter compared with a net loss of $9 million (£5.3 million) in the equivalent period of 2013. It also has $195.1 million (£115 million) of cash on its balance sheet and no outstanding debt.

Citywire A-rated Woodford (pictured) has already begun populating his new fund’s portfolio with several other biotech businesses.

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Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

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