BioWorld International Correspondent

LONDON - CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc announced further progress in its restructuring, divesting its cognitive testing division in a £1 million (US$1.5 million) management buyout.

The new company, to be called Cambridge Cognition Ltd., will have a range of products aimed at monitoring and evaluating cognitive function, including CANTAB, a computerized system for assessing cognitive function of patients with central nervous system disorders. It is used in clinical trials to provide early stage assessments of drug efficiency, and can also be used in clinical diagnosis and assessment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Of the £1 million sale price, £700,000 is in up-front and staged payments, and £300,000 is dependent on certain milestones.

The buyout follows CeNeS's failure to divest Cambridge Cognition by floating it on the Alternative Investment Market in London. Neil Clark, chief operating officer and finance director, said the disposal was another successful step in the restructuring program.

"We are pleased that the cognition division's management has obtained backing from a syndicate of investors who will support the further growth of the company and validation of the cognitive testing expertise," he said.

Cambridge Cognition was formed in July 2001 by the merger of Management Dynamics Cambridge, an organizational psychology company, and the cognitive division of CeNeS. In September 2001 CeNeS announced plans to float the merged entity.

Cambridge Cognition had 20 staff and a turnover of just over £1 million in 2000, approaching profitability.

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