Mercia Technologies PLC (AIM: MERC), the national investment group focused on the identification, creation, funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions, today announces that its portfolio company, Oxford Genetics Limited ("Oxford Genetics”), has successfully negotiated six licensing deals for its scalable gene therapy manufacturing technologies in the last twelve months.
Oxford Genetics operates in the synthetic biology sector providing world leading technologies and advanced techniques for drug and gene therapy development. Grown from the foundations of patented DNA engineering methods, the company now offers a suite of novel solutions for gene therapy drug discovery, antibody therapy development and CRISPR gene editing.
The past year has seen Oxford Genetics achieve significant market traction, working extensively with high profile, global businesses within the biotechnology industry. The projects being undertaken have strengthened the portfolio of solutions and licensable technologies in the key areas of drug and gene therapy development services.
Projects of note include;
- A licence agreement with Aldevron, a leading US service provider, to bring to market the Lentiviral Plasmids created by Oxford Genetics.
- A collaboration project with Sphere Fluidics to expedite the development of automated microfluidic systems for rapid and high-throughput gene editing in mammalian cells.
The remaining project wins are confidential licensing arrangements with large pharmaceutical companies, where Oxford Genetics is providing its proprietary cell lines and viral vectors for the discovery and development of viral therapies.
Mercia holds a 40.5% direct equity stake in the business and has worked with the team at Oxford Genetics since 2012, originally via its managed funds before making its first balance sheet investment to scale the business in December 2015.
Ryan Cawood, Founder and CEO of Oxford Genetics, said:
“2018 was an outstanding year for our business and we are expecting to close our financial year to 30 April 2019 showing 300% revenue growth on the prior year. We also have a strong order book for 2019/20. Our customer base is shaping up to be an impressive collection of long-term partners and in addition, our increasing global reach is enabling us to further demonstrate our technical excellence and clear market differentiation.”
Dr Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer of Mercia Technologies PLC and a non-executive director of Oxford Genetics, said:
“The global biotechnology market will surpass $775billion by 2024 according to a report by Global Market Insights. Today’s announcement is further evidence of the considerable progress which Ryan and his team at Oxford Genetics have made. The steady march of new biologic-based treatments in development and on the market means that the industry is crying out for the disruptive technologies and expertise that Oxford Genetics has developed in strength and depth. We expect further strong revenue growth and further licence announcements in due course.”