Oxford: Mercia backs OXGENE biologics development

Mercia Asset Management, the regionally focused specialist asset manager, has completed a £1 million investment into OXGENE, the trading name of Oxford Genetics, as part of a £3m funding commitment, alongside Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management.

OXGENE combines precision engineering, biology, robotics and bioinformatics to accelerate the design, discovery and manufacture of new biologics.

Working across the fields of gene therapy, gene editing and antibody therapeutics, OXGENE has worked with global partners including Abcam plc for the delivery of over 1,000 CRISPR engineered cell lines, Artios Pharma, who are developing breakthrough cancer treatments, and The Native Antigen Company (also a Mercia direct investment) to accelerate the production of COVID-19 antigens.

In addition, OXGENE has signed eight separate licence agreements providing access to its technology and recently announced a strategic partnership with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a world leading cGMP contract development and manufacturing organisation, to support its partners in the development and production of biologics, vaccines and gene therapies.

The synthetic biology market in which OXGENE operates is estimated to grow from US$5.3billion in 2019 to $18.9b by 2024. (Source: BCC Research)

Jo Bath, chief operations officer of OXGENE, said: Over the course of this financial year, OXGENE™ has once again more than doubled its revenue, with less than a 50% increase in headcount. This is testament not only to the hard work and effective management of our team, but also to the strength of our automation platform, and our focused approach to business and technology development.

“Mercia has continued to support and encourage us through this year of growth and transition. Their support goes beyond financial, helping us navigate through challenges as they arise. We’re extremely proud of everything we’ve accomplished this year, and look forward to bringing more innovative, game changing technologies to market in the year ahead.”

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia, commented: “OXGENE is now being repeatedly recognised by some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical brands which see the considerable value of its proprietary technology. The company is rapidly addressing global healthcare challenges and this latest investment round demonstrates the confidence that Mercia has in the business and its management team to deliver medium to long-term value.”