LONDON - Losses at British Biotech plc, of Oxford, U.K., soared in the nine months preceding January 31, 1998, rising to £30.9 million, from £18.1 million for the same period a year earlier. Losses for the third quarter were £11 million, compared to £2 million for the same quarter a year before.

The company said this was “in line with [the company's] plan,“ reflecting increased expenditures on clinical trials and a substantial decrease in income from collaborations. Income for the quarter fell to £0.1 million, from £8.5 million in the third quarter of 1996-1997.

R&D spending for the nine months was £32 million, compared to £26.2 million for the same period one year earlier. British Biotech had £143.6 million in cash at the end of the quarter. CEO Keith McCullagh commented that the company has “a strong balance sheet“ and remains committed to delivering shareholder value through the successful commercialization of the oral anti cancer drug marimastat, and Zacutex for the treatment of acute pancreatitis. - Nuala Moran