Stock market upsets CeNeS chief executive


12-12-2000

Frustration is overcoming triumph for biotech entrepreneur, Dan Roach, chief executive of CeNeS.

His company, which is headquartered at Histon, has just sold its first AutoPatch, which Dr Roach sees as a quantum leap in drug discovery, yet has barely been noticed by a stock market feeling sorry for itself.



AutoPatch provides vastly speeded up screening for new drugs, replacing a dinosaur-like piece of machinery with something a tenth of the size at just one foot square.



'And it's entirely home-grown,' says an exasperated Dr Roach, 'and in an area where we can be world-leading.



'I am sure someone will recognise what a good job we are doing before long,

and that is has all been made in Cambridge.'



AutoPatch, unlike the machinery it replaces, does not need people with PhDs

to drive it, and also does away with a lot of the paraphernalia that has

previously made the screening process long-winded and slow.



CeNeS won a DTI Smart award to develop AutoPatch, which is known as an ion

channel screening system, and Dr Roach reckons the market is worth 10

million.



He said talks were already in progress with 20 of the pharma giants.



'Our analysts reckon we shall have sales of 6 million this year, compared

with 1 last year, and the 6 million will double next year, but I am

frustrated about the way the market has received this latest news. Our share

price has hardly shifted.'