Aortech, the one-time producer of heart valves in Lanarkshire, has reported losses more than halved from $1.5 million (£921,000) to $720,000 and expects to almost break even next year based on revenues from existing licencees.

The group is poised to cease all US operations as it moves to become a pure intellectual property company. Chairman Bill Brown said the group had more than $1m in cash in September, compared with $295,000 a year earlier, when it faced collapse. Mr Brown reported a pleasing response from potential licencees who had been deterred in the past by Aortech's sub-scale manufacturing.

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