Mercia Fund Management today announced its first investment in an Aston University spin-out, Aston EyeTech Limited.

Aston EyeTech has developed software that supports optometrists with diagnosis, selling optical products and conducting clinical trials. Mercia Fund Management has agreed to invest £230,000 in the first instance.

The funding will be used to grow the team and other resources required in year one as the company builds and trials the initial product range.

A spin-out from Aston University’s School of Optometry, an international leader in optometry research and professional training, Aston EyeTech is targeting optical retailers in the UK and overseas, clinical trials organisations, domiciliary service providers and the NHS.

Aston EyeTech will help opticians make more accurate and consistent diagnoses of eye conditions, ensuring that high professional standards are met and that medico-legal protection is strengthened. It will help opticians sell more items through greater personalisation of product recommendations. For clinical trials, Aston EyeTech’s software enables eye tests to be conducted more efficiently, with faster collation and analysis of results.

The software uses mathematical techniques never previously deployed in the field of optometry, and is already being considered by a major player in the optometry sector who will host product trials and collaborate on development.

Paul Blackburn, Executive Chairman of Aston EyeTech commented on working with Mercia: “The Mercia team has been excellent at pulling together phase one financing and in dealing with the complexities of the university’s involvement as a founder shareholder, including their licensing of intellectual property.”

Senior Investment Director at Mercia Fund Management, Tim Hazell, comments: “Mercia already has a strong track record of investing in university spin-outs and we are delighted to add an Aston University start-up to our portfolio. This investment will enable Aston EyeTech to make major steps in the commercialisation of its unique software in an established and highly receptive market. The company is yet another example of the high quality businesses that Mercia has backed with its university partners.”

Drug screening services spinout secures investment package

Henley-in-Arden, 21 July 2014. Technology investor Mercia Fund Management has announced a £229,000 investment in InoCardia, a Coventry University spinout providing drug screening services.

Mercia Fund Management’s investment will fund the development and commercialisation of a pre-clinical drug testing service for pharmaceutical organisations.

Dr Helen Maddock – an expert in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology from the University’s Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences and the CEO of InoCardia and has spent ten years developing a pioneering new method – using real human heart tissue – to test the effect of drugs on the heart to assay for side effects (adverse events) without using human or animal trials.

The adverse effects of drugs on the cardiovascular system are a major cause of many medical treatments failing, but heart-related side-effects can often only be detected once a drug is being used on patients in clinical trials – by which time it is often too late.

Dr Maddock’s in vitro technique uses a specimen of heart tissue attached to a rig allowing the muscle to be lengthened and shortened (contracted) whilst being stimulated by an electrical impulse, mimicking the biomechanical performance of cardiac muscle. Targeted at the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, InoCardia’s ‘work-loop’ model (assay) assesses cardiac contractility in normal, diseased and ageing cardiac muscle in order to determine the cardiovascular safety of pharmaceutical compounds.

Dr Maddock commented: “Both the pharmaceutical industry and regulators recognise that contractility assessment is currently fraught with problems, so we are delighted that our research is now at a stage where we can confidently say that the work-loop assay (procedure) is the only relevant in-vitro human model of cardio-toxicity available worldwide. We are already working with a multinational biopharmaceutical company and results are promising.”

As part of InoCardia’s process, trial drugs are added to the tissue to determine whether or not they have an adverse effect on the force of contraction of the muscle (and therefore of the heart), a test that could only previously be performed in vivo – i.e. on living animals – often with inconclusive results.

This ‘simulated’ cardiovascular system provides the most realistic model of heart muscle dynamics in the world to date, and opens up unprecedented possibilities for identifying negative effects of drugs early and inexpensively – potentially saving lives and speeding up the development of successful drugs.

Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia Fund Management, added: “InoCardia benefits from a proprietary approach following many years of investigation by Helen and her team and offers the potential for early screening of compounds in development without the initial need for extensive animal trials. Through a markedly accelerated drug development process, this will decrease timelines to drug development, and as a consequence greatly reduce the cost of new drug development. The end beneficiary will of course be patients receiving novel treatments sooner.”

Specialist technology investor Mercia Fund Management (Mercia) says today’s successful flotation on AIM of life sciences company Abzena plc represents a substantial uplift for its investors and a belief in substantial further growth to come.

Mercia was part of the syndication that provided the recent £13.5 million in funding to the biopharmaceuticals testing company in July 2013.

Abzena provides technology for major pharmaceutical companies to help them develop new products that are more efficient, have fewer side effects and elicit more consistent and predictable patient responses.

Today the firm raised £20 million by placing 25 million shares at 80p per share. Though Mercia private investors through its SEIS and EIS capital under management will need to hold their newly listed AIM shares until the three year holding period has been satisfied, in order to secure the tax benefits associated with Enterprise Investments Schemes, the launch price represents a return of 170% to its private investors in just over ten months with strong growth forecasted for Abzena over the coming years.

Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia, which specialises in identifying promising technology firms and has strong links with several universities and incubators across the Midlands and North of England, said: “Abzena grew from IPR from Imperial Innovations and the University of Warwick University and looked an exciting investment from the outset. Today’s placement on AIM is a clear validation of our active investment strategy and excellent news for both our investment team and investors.

“The combination of the Abzena management team’s strong vision – to develop better biopharmaceutical products – and a sound business plan made the company stand out. It is extremely rewarding to support a portfolio company all the way to a listing on AIM. We applaud the exceptional team at Abzena and are very confident about the company’s next stage of development.”

John Burt, CEO of Abzena, said: “Our admission to AIM marks an important milestone in Abzena’s development. The proceeds will provide a platform for us to grow our existing business and expand our offering, enabling more customers and partners to translate research into better biopharmaceutical products that benefit patients.

“Abzena combines a growing, high-margin service business with the potential for substantial longer term revenue streams from licences to our proprietary technologies.”

Henley-in-Arden, 30 July 2014 – Technology investor Mercia Fund Management has announced that portfolio company,Oxford Genetics Ltd, has now secured £330,000 in funding in total, including a £100,000 TSB Smart Award.

Oxford Genetics is the biotechnology company behind SnapFast™ – a system that simplifies the purchase of synthetic DNA molecules (plasmids).

Since its first round of SEIS funding in 2013 from Mercia Fund Management, Oxford Genetics has celebrated several major achievements, including the expansion of its range from 200 to over 1,600 DNA plasmids. The company has also launched a dedicated web tool – Plasmid Builder, which allows customers to design and build complex DNA sequences online.

Oxford Genetics has signed agreements with both a global distributor and partners in 30 countries including the US, Canada, Japan and Germany.

The company has also conducted custom work for the prestigious Max Plank Institute, which saw the Oxford Genetics team recreate every gene that is different between a human and a Neanderthal.

Dr Ryan Cawood, founder and MD of Oxford Genetics commented on the company’s decision to work with Mercia Fund Management: “With this additional funding we will look to increase our product range further, invest adding new functionality to the website, and extend our marketing efforts. We are very pleased to have Mercia Fund Management on board. As a technology investor, they provide not only finance but also strategic advice and business support.”

Dr Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia Fund Management, added: “A year ago we predicted a promising future for Oxford Genetics and the company has delivered on its early promise. When we first invested in Oxford Genetics the company clearly stood out for us – its SnapFast™ system and the online business model meet an untapped need in the market. The progress made by the company underlines this and we are proud to continue to support its next stage of growth.”

ENDs

About Mercia Fund Management

Mercia Fund Management is a Midland’s based investment business investing nationally with over £22 million and growing under active management.

Mercia Fund Management provides investment growth capital for technology-backed businesses ranging from early commercial traction through to those seeking expansion or working capital that are trading profitably. Furthermore, Mercia Fund Management can also provide cost-effective post-seed incubator accommodation at its modern facility at the Forward House Workspace in Henley-in-Arden for established portfolio companies, as well as early stage non-portfolio companies, looking for a supportive dynamic environment on offer from an incumbent investment manager who can also provide centralised support services.

Mercia Fund Management is an FCA authorised and regulated fund manager under FSMA (FRN: 524856).

www.merciafund.co.uk

Drug screening services spinout secures investment package

Henley-in-Arden, 21 July 2014. Technology investor Mercia Fund Management has announced a £229,000 investment in InoCardia, a Coventry University spinout providing drug screening services.

Mercia Fund Management’s investment will fund the development and commercialisation of a pre-clinical drug testing service for pharmaceutical organisations.

Dr Helen Maddock – an expert in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology from the University’s Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences and the CEO of InoCardia and has spent ten years developing a pioneering new method – using real human heart tissue – to test the effect of drugs on the heart to assay for side effects (adverse events) without using human or animal trials.

The adverse effects of drugs on the cardiovascular system are a major cause of many medical treatments failing, but heart-related side-effects can often only be detected once a drug is being used on patients in clinical trials – by which time it is often too late.

Dr Maddock’s in vitro technique uses a specimen of heart tissue attached to a rig allowing the muscle to be lengthened and shortened (contracted) whilst being stimulated by an electrical impulse, mimicking the biomechanical performance of cardiac muscle. Targeted at the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, InoCardia’s ‘work-loop’ model (assay) assesses cardiac contractility in normal, diseased and ageing cardiac muscle in order to determine the cardiovascular safety of pharmaceutical compounds.

Dr Maddock commented: “Both the pharmaceutical industry and regulators recognise that contractility assessment is currently fraught with problems, so we are delighted that our research is now at a stage where we can confidently say that the work-loop assay (procedure) is the only relevant in-vitro human model of cardio-toxicity available worldwide. We are already working with a multinational biopharmaceutical company and results are promising.”

As part of InoCardia’s process, trial drugs are added to the tissue to determine whether or not they have an adverse effect on the force of contraction of the muscle (and therefore of the heart), a test that could only previously be performed in vivo – i.e. on living animals – often with inconclusive results.

This ‘simulated’ cardiovascular system provides the most realistic model of heart muscle dynamics in the world to date, and opens up unprecedented possibilities for identifying negative effects of drugs early and inexpensively – potentially saving lives and speeding up the development of successful drugs.

Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia Fund Management, added: “InoCardia benefits from a proprietary approach following many years of investigation by Helen and her team and offers the potential for early screening of compounds in development without the initial need for extensive animal trials. Through a markedly accelerated drug development process, this will decrease timelines to drug development, and as a consequence greatly reduce the cost of new drug development. The end beneficiary will of course be patients receiving novel treatments sooner.”

ENDs

About Mercia Fund Management

Mercia Fund Management is a Midland’s based investment business investing nationally with over £22 million and growing under active management.

Mercia Fund Management provides investment growth capital for technology-backed businesses ranging from early commercial traction through to those seeking expansion or working capital that are trading profitably. Furthermore, Mercia Fund Management can also provide cost-effective post-seed incubator accommodation, The Forward House Workspace, at its modern facility Forward House in Henley-in-Arden for established portfolio companies, as well as early stage non-portfolio companies, looking for a supportive dynamic environment on offer from an incumbent investment manager who can also provide centralised support services.

Mercia Fund Management is an FCA authorised and regulated fund manager under FSMA (FRN: 524856).

www.merciafund.co.uk

About Coventry University

Coventry University is a forward-looking modern university whose roots can be traced back to 1843 to the Coventry School of Design. With a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on multidisciplinary research, the University has established a robust academic presence regionally, nationally and across the world.

Through its links with leading-edge businesses and organizations in a variety of industries, Coventry University’s 24,000+ students enjoy access to placement opportunities which ensure that their employment prospects are enhanced by the time they graduate. Its students also benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and facilities in all academic disciplines from health, sport science and performing arts to industrial design, engineering and computing.

Coventry University is currently the highest placed modern university in both the Guardian and Times and Sunday Times league tables, ranking 27th and 45th respectively – the highest ever rankings for a post-1992 institution.

www.coventry.ac.uk

Specialist technology investor Mercia Fund Management (Mercia) says today’s successful flotation on AIM of life sciences company Abzena plc represents a substantial uplift for its investors and a belief in substantial further growth to come.

Mercia was part of the syndication that provided the recent £13.5 million in funding to the biopharmaceuticals testing company in July 2013.

Abzena provides technology for major pharmaceutical companies to help them develop new products that are more efficient, have fewer side effects and elicit more consistent and predictable patient responses.

Today the firm raised £20 million by placing 25 million shares at 80p per share. Though Mercia private investors through its SEIS and EIS capital under management will need to hold their newly listed AIM shares until the three year holding period has been satisfied, in order to secure the tax benefits associated with Enterprise Investments Schemes, the launch price represents a return of 170% to its private investors in just over ten months with strong growth forecasted for Abzena over the coming years.

Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia, which specialises in identifying promising technology firms and has strong links with several universities and incubators across the Midlands and North of England, said: “Abzena grew from IPR from Imperial Innovations and the University of Warwick University and looked an exciting investment from the outset. Today’s placement on AIM is a clear validation of our active investment strategy and excellent news for both our investment team and investors.

“The combination of the Abzena management team’s strong vision – to develop better biopharmaceutical products – and a sound business plan made the company stand out. It is extremely rewarding to support a portfolio company all the way to a listing on AIM. We applaud the exceptional team at Abzena and are very confident about the company’s next stage of development.”

John Burt, CEO of Abzena, said: “Our admission to AIM marks an important milestone in Abzena’s development. The proceeds will provide a platform for us to grow our existing business and expand our offering, enabling more customers and partners to translate research into better biopharmaceutical products that benefit patients.

“Abzena combines a growing, high-margin service business with the potential for substantial longer term revenue streams from licences to our proprietary technologies.”

ENDs

About Mercia Fund Management

Mercia Fund Management is a Midland’s based investment business investing nationally with over £22 million and growing under active management.

Mercia provides investment growth capital for technology-backed businesses ranging from early commercial traction through to those seeking expansion or working capital that are trading profitably. Furthermore, Mercia can also provide cost-effective post-seed incubator accommodation, The Forward House Workspace, at its modern facility Forward House in Henley-in-Arden for established portfolio companies, as well as early stage non-portfolio companies, looking for a supportive dynamic environment on offer from an incumbent investment manager who can also provide centralised support services.

Mercia Fund Management is an FCA authorised and regulated fund manager under FSMA (FRN: 524856).

www.merciafund.co.uk

NOT FOR PUBLICATION, DISTRIBUTION OR RELEASE IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, JAPAN, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND OR THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

7 July 2014

London, UK – Abzena plc (“Abzena”, the “Group” or the “Company”), a revenue-generating life sciences company providing services and technologies that enable the development of better biopharmaceutical products, has conditionally raised £20 million (before expenses) by way of a placing of 25,000,000 new ordinary shares at 80 pence per share (the “Placing Price”) in conjunction with the forthcoming admission of its ordinary shares to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (“Admission”). 3,398,750 existing ordinary shares are also being sold at the Placing Price.

Application has been made for the Company’s entire issued share capital of 97,428,858 ordinary shares of £0.002 each (as enlarged by the placing of new ordinary shares) to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that dealings in the ordinary shares will commence on AIM on 10 July 2014 under the ticker ABZA (ISIN number GB00BN65QN46). At the Placing Price, the market capitalisation of Abzena on Admission would be approximately £77.9 million.

Cenkos Securities plc is acting as nominated adviser and broker to the Company.

John Burt, CEO of Abzena said: “The proceeds from the Placing and our forthcoming admission to AIM mark important milestones in Abzena’s development and provides a platform for us to grow our existing business and expand our offering as we enable our customers and partners to translate research into better biopharmaceutical products that benefit patients.

“Abzena combines a growing, high-margin service business with the potential for substantial longer term revenue streams from licences to our proprietary technologies.”

For more information, please contact:

John Burt (Chief Executive Officer; john.burt@abzena.com) Julian Smith (Chief Financial Officer; julian.smith@abzena.com) Abzena plc Tel: +44 (0)1223 903351

Christopher Golden and Bobbie Hilliam, Cenkos Securities plc Tel: +44 (0) 20 7397 8900

Mark Swallow, Sita Shah or Chris Gardner, Citigate Dewe Rogerson Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571 Email: abzena@citigatedr.co.uk

Background to the Company

 Abzena’s mission is to enable R&D companies to develop better biopharmaceutical products – e.g. therapeutic antibodies and proteins – with one or more of the following attributes: better efficacy, fewer side effects, more predictable quality and/or improved patient compliance

 Over 70 per cent. of the revenue of the world’s top ten selling medicines is derived from biopharmaceuticals including the world’s largest selling drug, HUMIRA®. Worldwide revenue from biopharmaceutical products was $169 billion in 2012 and this figure is forecast to exceed $220 billion in 2017

 Abzena is a revenue-generating life sciences company (FY2014: £5.8 million)1 with a range of complementary services and technologies (covering biopharmaceutical immunogenicity assessment, antibody and protein engineering, manufacturing cell line development and bioconjugation), which provide two sources of income:

High-margin fee-for-service income from a broad customer base which includes the majority of the top 20 bio pharmaceutical companies2
Milestone payments and/or future potential royalties from the development and commercialisation of products created with the Group’s technologies with more than 30 licence and option agreements currently in place and five customers’ products undergoing clinical development for a wide range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases
 The market which Abzena serves is growing, driven by an increase in outsourcing of R&D by major biopharmaceutical companies, as well as by biotechnology companies looking externally to access expertise and skills. The US market for applied research and preclinical drug development, the areas in which Abzena operates, is estimated at $9.6–$11.5 billion; the majority of Abzena’s revenues are derived from providing services and access to its technologies to US customers

Strategy and Use of Proceeds

Abzena’s strategy is to continue its growth as a provider of services and technologies to address critical R&D issues to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals. Organic growth of the service business will be driven through leveraging of the Group’s brands and cross-selling to the Group’s existing and new customers. Further revenue growth will be driven by progression of customer products, being developed under licences granted by the Group, thereby leading to receipt by the Group of milestone payments and royalties.

1 The Group’s aggregated revenue for FY2014 of £5.8 million is calculated as if Antitope Limited had been acquired on 1 April 2013. Abzena’s consolidated revenue for FY2014 was £3.8 million.

2 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, Top R&D Spenders of 2013 (March 2014) were Roche, Novartis, J&J, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, GSK, Lilly, AstraZeneca, Amgen, BMS, Takeda, Abbvie, Bayer, Celgene, Novo Nordisk, Gilead Sciences, Daiichi Sankyo, Astellas and Merck KGaA.

Abzena’s senior management has a track record in identifying, acquiring, integrating and growing businesses. The directors of Abzena believe there are opportunities for the Group to consolidate further businesses within the fragmented market in which it operates by adding complementary services and technologies to drive service revenue growth and long-term value creation through product royalties.

The net proceeds of the Placing payable to the Company will be used to:

 Invest in short- and long-term drivers of revenue:

Increase service capacity to meet growth in demand
Develop existing technologies to enhance licence revenue opportunities
Create value through co-investment in adoption of the Group’s technologies by its partners to create better biopharmaceutical products
Develop complementary new services and technologies in-house
 Acquire complementary services and technologies, through in-licensing and/or M&A

 Provide additional working capital

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This announcement does not constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell or issue, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities, nor should it or any part of it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or commitment whatsoever nor should the fact of its distribution form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract.

Investors should not subscribe for or purchase any securities referred to in this announcement except on the basis of information in the Admission Document to be issued in due course by the Company in connection with the Placing of and admission of the ordinary shares in the share capital of the Company (“Ordinary Shares”) to trading on AIM (“Admission”). In the event of any discrepancy between this announcement and the Admission Document in its final form, the Admission Document will prevail. The information contained in this announcement is for background purposes only. It is not the purpose of this announcement to provide, and reliance may not be placed on this announcement as providing, a complete and comprehensive analysis of the Company’s financial or commercial position or prospects.

The date of Admission may be influenced by things such as market conditions. There is no guarantee that Admission will occur and financial decisions should not be based on the Company’s intentions in relation to Admission at this stage. Investments to which this announcement relates may expose an investor to a significant risk of losing all of the amount invested. Persons considering investment in such investments should consult an authorised person specialising in advising on such investments. This announcement does not constitute a recommendation concerning any offer of securities. The value of securities can decrease as well as increase. Potential investors should consult a professional adviser as to the suitability of any investment for the person concerned.

No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made by or on behalf of the Company, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by the Company or its affiliates, as to the accuracy, completeness or verification of the information set out in this announcement, and nothing contained in this announcement is, or shall be relied upon as, a promise or representation in this respect, whether as to the past or the future. The Company and each of its affiliates accordingly disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by law, all and any liability whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise which it might otherwise have in respect of this announcement or any such statement.

The distribution of this announcement outside the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore any persons outside the United Kingdom into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions in connection with the Placing, the acquisition of securities and/or the distribution of this announcement. Any failure to comply with such restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any jurisdiction outside the United Kingdom. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer would be unlawful. In particular, this announcement does not constitute an offer to buy securities, and it is not for distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of South Africa, Canada or Japan. The Ordinary Shares have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended, any state securities laws in the United States or any securities laws of the Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of South Africa or Japan or in any country, territory or possession where to offer them may contravene local securities laws or regulations. Accordingly, the Ordinary Shares may not, subject to certain limited exceptions, be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of South Africa, Canada or Japan.

This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” which include all statements other than statements of historical facts, including, without limitation, those regarding the Group’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations, or any statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words “targets”, “believes”, “expects”, “aims”, “intends”, “will”, “may”, “anticipates”, “would, “could” or similar expressions or negatives thereof. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the Company’s control that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Group to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the Group’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Group will operate in the future. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this document. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based unless required to do so by applicable law or the AIM Rules for Companies.

Cenkos Securities plc (“Cenkos”), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting as nominated adviser for the purposes of the AIM Rules and as broker to the Company in connection with the Placing and Admission. Cenkos is not acting for, and will not be responsible to, any person other than the Company in connection with the Placing and Admission and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Cenkos nor for providing advice in connection with the Placing and Admission or any other matter referred to herein. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by Cenkos as to, and no liability is accepted by Cenkos in respect of, any of the contents of this document.

Neither the content of the Company’s website nor any website accessible by hyperlinks on the Company’s website is incorporated in, or forms part of, this announcement.

Mercia Fund Management is pleased to announce that Abzena Limited (‘Abzena’), formerly known as PolyTherics, has today announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offering and to seek Admission of its shares to AIM.

Abzena is focused on providing proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals. The company comprises two wholly owned subsidiary businesses – PolyTherics and Antitope – which have established a broad suite of complementary services and technologies that are designed to improve the chances of successful development of antibodies and proteins with enhanced therapeutic benefits. Mercia was a founding investor in the University of Warwick spinout Warwick Effects Polymers (which was acquired by PolyTherics) and holds a board seat on the enlarged business. Mercia was part of the syndication that provided in total £13.5m in a funding round in July 2013.

Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia and board member, said: “We are truly delighted with how the management of Abzena have taken the business from strength to strength and that this company with operations across Coventry, London and Cambridge further validates our investment model of backing and supporting technology-rich, scalable ventures. Abzena represents a number of now maturing businesses within the Mercia portfolio and is our first investment to utilise the public markets to scale its growth.”

To read the full announcement from Abzena, please click this link. http://www.abzena.com/news/121/83/Abzena-Announces-Intention-To-Float.html

London, UK and Dallas, TX, USA, 6 June 2014 – Antitope Limited (“Antitope”), an Abzena company, today announced that it will develop a manufacturing cell line for the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (“BIIR”), one of the world’s leading centres for translational immunology research, using its Composite CHOTM technology. BIIR is developing a range of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, and Antitope will develop a cell line for the production of BIIR’s novel dendriti c-cell-targeting vaccine for the treatment of head and neck and cervical cancer.

Antitope has developed the Composite CHOTM technology for the generation of stable cell lines producing high yields of proteins and antibodies ready for cGMP manufacture. The current project represents another milestone in the relationship between Antitope and BIIR, initiated several years ago when Antitope applied its Composite Human AntibodyTM technology to humanize several novel BIIR antibodies. The humanized antibodies have been an important tool for BIIR inthe development of its the rapeuticvaccines.

Matthew Baker, CSO of the Abzena group and co-founder of Antitope, commented: “We are delighted to be working with BIIR again and to have the opportunity to help advance one of its novel therapeutic dendritic- cell-targeting vaccines towards the clinic.”

Gerard Zurawski, Co-director of BIIR and Director of the Center for Biotechnology at BIIR, said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our working relationship with Matthew Baker and his team at Antitope on this program and we anticipate that the vaccine can now be rapidly advance dtoclinical studies.”

Dr Michael Ramsay, President of Baylor Research Institute, added: “As part of the Baylor Scott & White Health system, BIIR can leverage the GMP manufacturing capability of facilities in Temple, Texas – established with funding from Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) – and our system-wide clinical trials infrastructure, to develop products for cancer patients across the globe.”

ENDs

About Antitope

Antitope is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abzena Limited, a group focused on providing proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.

Antitope is an industry leader in immunogenicity assessment, protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins, and cell line development for manufacture. The Company provides its services and technologies to an international client base that includes most of the world’s leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

www.antitope.co.uk

About Abzena

Abzena is the new name for the PolyTherics group, and is focused on providing proprietary technologies and value-added services to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.

Abzena comprises two wholly owned subsidiary businesses – PolyTherics and Antitope – which have established a broad suite of complementary technologies that are designed to improve the chances of successful development of antibodies and proteins with enhanced therapeutic benefits.

PolyTherics specializes in proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies for antibody drug conjugate development and solutions for optimization of the rapeutic properties of biopharmaceuticals.The group has built a global customer base over the past decade, including the top 10 pharma, large and small biotech, and academic groups.

Abzena is a privately owned UK company backed by institutional investors including Imperial Innovations (AIM: IVO), Invesco Perpetual, Mercia Fund Management, Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund (managed by Catapult Venture Partners), Capital Fund (managed by YFM), ProVen Growth & Income VCT and Oxford Technology VCTs.

www.abzena.com

About BIIR

BIIR (www.biir.org) is the immunology component of Baylor Research Institute and is one of the top translational human immunology centers in the world. BIIR has programs in cancer vaccines, transplantation immunology, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. The goal of BIIR is to quickly translate important research discoveries from the ‘bench to the bedside’ to improve patient care and prevent the causes of diseases beforethey occur.

About Baylor Research Institute

Established in 1984 in Dallas, Texas, Baylor Research Institute (BRI) promotes and supports research to bring innovative treatments from the laboratory workbench to the patient bedside. To achieve this bench-to- bedside concept, BRI focuses on basic science, clinical trials, healthcare effectiveness and quality of care research. Today, BRI is conducting more than 930 active research protocols with 400 research investigators, spanning more than 22 medical specialties, and has research and development projects in areas ranging from human immunology and orphan metabolic diseases to diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and many other unmet medical needs.

About Baylor Scott & White Health

Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas. With total assets of $8.6 billion* and serving a geographic area larger than the state of Maine, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 36,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For More Information visit: www.BaylorScottandWhite.com

* based on unaudited fiscal year 2014 financial statements

For more information, please contact:

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Studies Identify a Phase II Dose and Demonstrate Best in Class Intravenous Delivery Profile Leading to an Expansion of the Clinical Program to New Indications

OXFORD, UK and CHICAGO – 3 June, 2014 – PsiOxus Therapeutics, Ltd. (PsiOxus), an award-winning biotechnology company developing innovative, novel treatments for cancer, announced that updates for its on-going international multicentre clinical program of the oncolytic vaccine enadenotucirev (previously known as ColoAd1) were presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Enadenotucirev is an oncolytic Ad11/Ad3 chimeric group B adenovirus that has previously been shown to selectively destroy metastatic solid tumours at low concentrations in pre-clinical models.

The EVOLVE Study

The EVOLVE (EValuating OncoLytic Vaccine Efficacy) trial is a phase I/II trial of intravenous administration of enadenotucirev to patients with epithelial cancers. Dr Emiliano Calvo from START Madrid, Centro Integral Oncológico Clara Campal, Hospital Madrid, Spain, presented A Phase I Study of Enadenotucirev, an Oncolytic A11/Ad3 Chimeric Group B Adenovirus, Administered Intravenously in Patients with Metastatic Epithelial Tumours, which evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of enadenotucirev.

In this study, enadenotucirev was delivered intravenously to end stage cancer patients. Tumour origins in these patients included colorectal, parotid, oropharynx, liver, stomach, gall bladder and breast. This is the first reported clinical study where live replicating oncolytic virus has been recovered directly from the blood stream of cancer patients. This confirms previously published pre-clinical data1 showing that unlike other viruses, enadenotucirev is not inactivated by antibodies or other human blood constituents.

The Mechanism of Action (MoA) Study

The MoA trial is a phase 1 “window of opportunity” trial evaluating intravenous and intra- tumoural administration of enadenotucirev in patients with cancer. To date convincing clinical success with oncolytic viruses has been associated largely with intra-tumoural delivery and evidence for successful systemic delivery of viruses to tumour cells by intravenous delivery remains sparse. This study is designed to show that enadenotucirev can be effectively delivered to tumours by intravenous delivery.

Dr Rocio Garcia Carbonero with UGC Oncología Integral, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocio, Seville, Spain, presented A Phase 1 Mechanism of Action Study of Intra-tumoural or Intravenous Administration of enadenotucirev, an Oncolytic Ad11/Ad3 Chimeric Group B Adenovirus in Colon Cancer Patients Undergoing Resection of Primary Tumour.

In this study, patients with colon cancer scheduled for surgical removal of their primary tumour receive enadenotucirev delivered either by intravenous infusion or by intra-tumoural injection. Surgery is then performed seven to 15 days after the first dose of enadenotucirev, and the resected tumour, normal margins and draining lymph nodes are then evaluated for the distribution of the virus as well as other potential biomarkers of delivery and efficacy.

At the ASCO meeting, PsiOxus announced that to date a combined total of 46 cancer patients have been dosed with up to four cycles (12 doses) of enadenotucirev in these two clinical studies and that an independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee has confirmed that a dose of 6×1012 viral particles administered over 40 minutes in repeated cycles is a suitable dose for further investigation in phase II clinical studies.

Dr John Beadle, CEO of PsiOxus, commented: “We are highly encouraged by the safety profile and the best in class systemic delivery data for enadenotucirev at this stage of clinical development. This data is highly supportive of further investigation of enadenotucirev as an anti-cancer agent and we are looking forward to initiating phase II studies later this year. Today, we are also announcing that the enadenotucirev clinical program will be expanded to include initial investigation of other tumour types including non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma and bladder cancer.”

Learn more about PsiOxus’ clinical trials here. http://www.psioxus.com/psioxus-clinical-trials.asp

References
1. Y Di et al. Gene Therapy. 2014; 21, 440-443
About PsiOxus Therapeutics, Ltd.
PsiOxus Therapeutics is a privately held Oxford, UK-based clinical stage biotechnology company using non-traditional approaches to develop novel therapeutics that address cancer and other clinically unmet diseases. Enadenotucirev is an oncolytic vaccine for the systemic treatment of metastatic cancer, which has demonstrated exceptional anti-cancer properties in late pre-clinical development and is now in phase I/II clinical development for multiple solid cancers including colorectal and ovarian cancer. MT-102 is a dual action Anabolic Catabolic Transforming Agent (ACTA) clinical development for the treatment of cachexia and sarcopenia and which has demonstrated positive effects on lean muscle mass and muscle function in a phase II clinical trial in late stage colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer. The Company is also developing an adjuvant and immunotherapeutic platform PolyMAP, which combines polymers with synthetic adjuvants to significantly enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.
Contacts:
PsiOxus Therapeutics
Dr John Beadle, Chief Executive Officer
Tel +44 (0) 7810 770 310
John.Beadle@psioxus.com
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Erik Clausen, Chempetitive Group
Tel +1 781-608-7091
PsiOxus@chempetitive.com
UK Media Enquiries:
Dr Paul Avery, BioStrata
Tel: +44(0)1223 828202
pavery@biostratamarketing.com