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TiGenix in advanced talks over Dutch facility, drug partnering

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian biotech company TiGenix said on Tuesday it was in advanced discussions to sell its Dutch manufacturing facility and separately to find a partner for its candidate treatment for a disorder linked to Crohn's disease.

TiGenix said the renewal by Dutch authorities of its license for the plant in Sittard-Geleen had allowed it to move ahead with talks on selling the facility while continuing to make its drugs there.

It also said that it was in advanced talks with a number of parties over commercial rights to Cx601 outside Europe. Linked to this, it has requested a meeting with U.S. health regulators to discuss a planned U.S. trial of the product.

TiGenix is enrolling patients for Phase III trials for Cx601 for the treatment of complex perianal fistulas, abnormal channels that can develop between the end of the bowel and the skin, in patients of bowel disorder Crohn's disease.

In its quarterly trading update, TiGenix said sales of its main drug ChondroCelect, which repairs damaged cartilage in the knee, had risen by 21 percent in the first nine months of 2013 to 3.1 million euros ($4.2 million).

The company said it expected full-year sales to show a rise of more than 20 percent, driven by Belgium and the Netherlands. Sales should come on stream in Spain and Britain in 2014.

TiGenix also said it cash position at the end of September was 6.4 million euros, helped by a 6.5 million euro private placement in July and a cash burn of 1.1 million euros per month, below management guidance.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Cowell)