Mercia Technologies PLC has announced that it has completed a £2.0million follow-on direct investment into Oxford Genetics, a synthetic biology company with significant expertise in helping to design, develop and produce virus and protein based biologics to support leading therapeutic companies.
This investment is part of a £7.5million funding round which also sees a new investor, Invesco Asset Management Limited, as agent for and on behalf of its discretionary managed clients (Invesco), joining the syndication as a partner. Invesco is one of the largest investment managers in the UK and its involvement in this funding round demonstrates the significant potential seen in Oxford Genetics by both the teams at Mercia and Invesco. Mercia has worked with Oxford Genetics since 2012, initially investing via its third-party managed funds before becoming an Emerging Star direct investment in December 2015. This latest funding round increases Mercia's total direct investment to £4.7million. Mercia's direct equity stake following this funding round is 40.5%.
Proceeds from the investment round will be used to further expand Oxford Genetics' operations in the US with the opening of a new office in Boston, as well as extending its UK research and development facility.
In the last 12 months Oxford Genetics has signed a number of out-licensing deals, including two separate collaborative co-development partnerships. In the same period it has also filed five patent applications, all in the fields of improving the discovery, development or delivery of biological therapeutics. It has also been awarded £1.9million in non-dilutive government grants to support its R&D.
Ryan Cawood, CEO of Oxford Genetics, said: "The next few years for Oxford Genetics will be exciting. The industry for complex biologics has taken such huge steps forward to delivering real patient benefit and we are pleased to be providing our technology to many of the companies tackling some of medicine's most important unmet needs."
Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer at Mercia and board director of Oxford Genetics, said: "This sector is growing rapidly, driven by pharma and biotech companies' relentless drive for new therapeutics. The commercial validity of the business has been recently supported by a string of technology licence agreements. This syndicated investment alongside Invesco reflects our confidence in Oxford Genetics' strong position and its ability to deliver shareholder value in the medium term."
To read the full RNS announcement, click here.