OXGENE’s Top 10 moments of 2019
£6.5 million of new investment, six licensing deals, four product evaluations, two new execs and a partridge in a pear tree.
The end of the calendar year presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on just how incredible – and busy - a year it’s been here at OXGENE, as our recent press release highlights. So here’s a recap of our top 10 moments of 2019.
First up, our commercial successes.
We announce a strategic gene editing partnership with Abcam
On 24 September, we announced an extension of our successful relationship with Abcam. Over the next three years, we’ll use our expertise in CRISPR gene-editing to deliver over 1,000 custom engineered cell lines for antibody validation. Abcam is also offering these cell lines as an expansion of its portfolio of off-the-shelf knockout cell lines matched with antibodies.
Aldevron license our lentiviral plasmids
On 1 February, we announced the signing of a licensing agreement with world-class service organisation, Aldevron to bring to market a standardized range of plasmids for lentiviral manufacture. Our licensed Excelenti technology is composed of an optimized ratio of four plasmids engineered to improve the production of lentiviral gene therapy vectors. These can be used for recombinant lentiviral vector production, and so allow gene therapy innovators to benefit from shared large-scale production and the fast delivery times afforded by Aldevron.
We sign first licensing agreement in Asia
We can’t reveal the details yet, but we’re very pleased to have signed our first licensing agreement in Asia this year. This deal is further evidence of our truly world-class technology and expertise and demonstrates our increasing global impact.
Several evaluation agreements give promise of licensing deals to come
Over the course of this year, we’ve signed evaluation agreements with large pharmaceutical and biotech companies, which we’re hopeful will lead to licensing arrangements in the new year. These evaluations have demonstrated the high quality and performance of our materials and mean that we’re ending 2019 on a high note, with the promise of a strong start to the new year and new decade.
It’s been a great year for science too.
Our mammalian display system is open for evaluation
In October this year, exciting results from our Antibody Discovery team prompted us to present the first data from our brand new self-labelling integral membrane (SLIM) mammalian display antibody discovery system at the Festival of Biologics in Basel and PEGS Europe in Lisbon. This system allows screening of a large naive library of functional antibodies against membrane antigens in their native configuration. We’re now looking for collaborations to accelerate the further evaluation of this platform.
Our 10L bioreactors arrived
In November this year, we took delivery of our new bioreactors. These mark the next stage in our process development capabilities, as our in-house experts work to scale-up production of viral vectors in stirred tank bioreactors to 10L. Meanwhile, our downstream process development experts take the crude rAAV lysate through a series of sophisticated concentration and purification steps to deliver a highly pure rAAV preparation that facilitates the transition between lab-scale production to large-scale manufacture.
We’ve got some other good news up our sleeves too, so stay tuned for more breakthrough scientific announcements in the new year.
Finally, we made a name for ourselves!
Oxford Genetics becomes OXGENE
On 10 September, Oxford Genetics Ltd began trading as OXGENE™. Our new brand celebrates the company’s evolution from a product-based business model to providing high-quality, custom precision engineering services with downstream licensing, and reflects both the company’s expanded scientific offering and its ambition for the future.
We’re named in Deloitte Fast 50 with PharmaScrip CEO of the year!
Finally, in December this year, we were delighted to be listed in the Deloitte Fast 50. Growth of nearly 700% in a year makes us one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies.
We’re also delighted that CEO Ryan Cawood was awarded Pharma Scrip CEO of the year, for overseeing six new licensing deals to firmly establish OXGENE in the biotech industry.
Our Executive team gets a new look
Chief Operating Officer, Jocelyne Bath, joined the executive team in January this year, and more recently, appointed Chief Commercial Officer, Charles Thomas. Jocelyne is responsible for the company’s commercial positioning and business operations, while Charles will support our scientific group leaders to determine what resource they need to successfully deliver technologies to customers and enable them to achieve that.
We secured an additional £6.5 million investment
On 28 March, OXGENE secured an additional £6.5 million of new investment resulting in an undiluted, post-money company valuation of £30.5million.
We’re looking forward to another year of discovery as we see what 2020 has in store for us here at OXGENE. But for now, it’s a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from us all.