THE company that created Dolly the cloned sheep has completed its withdrawal from the research for which it became famous to concentrate on more profitable markets.

PPL Therapeutics, of Edinburgh, has agreed to sell its US-based regenerative medicine business, which carries out stem cell research. The unit will be sold to Regenecor Holdings, a company formed by a joint venture which includes the University of Pittsburgh's medical centre.

In a statement, PPL said: "The board of PPL does not believe it is possible for PPL to be successful in developing both its core protein business and the regenerative medicine business within the financial and management resources currently available to it."

The company had already announced its decision to shut down its stem cell research programme in Scotland after failing to find a buyer.

PPL revealed its intention to sell its regenerative medicine cloning business last year after sinking millions of pounds into the project.