Shield Therapeutics PLC on Wednesday reported significantly widened loss for 2017, as it progresses on Feraccru product study and commercialisation.

The specialty pharmaceutical firm reported a pretax loss of GBP21.0 million for 2017, compared with a pretax loss of GBP15.6 million the year earlier.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were GBP16.7 million, up from GBP10.7 million year-on-year, reflected the increase in headcount in Europe.

Shield Therapeutics also incurred research and development expenditure of GBP4.7 million, up from GBP2.0 million the prior year. This relates to the group’s phase III Feraccru product study and costs associated with the marketing.

Revenue climbed to GBP637,000 from GBP304,000 the prior year, as the group continued its progress with commercialisation. Sales in the UK were down to GBP70,000 from GBP240,000 while sales in Europe grew to GBP567,000 from GBP64,000 the year before.

Shield Therapeutics ended the year with GBP13.3 million in cash, which the company believes is enough to fund the business until at least the end of the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Expansion of Feraccru’s commercial activities in 2017, through an increase in promotional events, improved market access and sales people in the field saw awareness and use of the product increase,” said Chief Executive Carl Sterritt. “During the first months of 2018 we have continued to see positive month-on-month growth in demand for Feraccru in both Germany and the UK.”

Shares in Shield Therapeutics were trading 12.3% lower at 17.10 pence per share on Wednesday.