It's in our DNA - £7.5m funding round for Oxford Genetics

Invesco Asset Management Limited (“Invesco”) and Mercia Technologies PLC has just completed a £7.5 million funding round in Oxford Genetics, a synthetic biology company with significant expertise in developing complex biological systems.

The Mills & Reeve team acted for both Invesco, one of the largest investment managers in the UK and Mercia, an existing long term client, which focuses on funding and scaling fast growth technology businesses from the UK regions. This funding round will open up opportunities for Oxford Genetics’ operations in the US with the opening of a new offices in Boston, as well as developing 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 £1.9 million in non-dilutive government grants to support its R&D. 

Zickie Lim, Partner from Mills & Reeve said: “Having worked on previous investments for Mercia in the company, we were delighted to act for both investors. These two early stage and growth investors look for businesses that are changing the world - they look to fund original ideas that make a genuine difference. This type of syndicated growth investment deal is what we specialise in – it’s in our DNA!” 

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." 

Matthew Brazier at Invesco said “It’s been great working with the team at Mills & Reeve. They understand the sector and more importantly, the complexities and significance of this type of funding. For various reasons, we wanted to move fast and close the round within two weeks. Mills & Reeve’ proactive and commercial approach was instrumental in helping us achieve this.” 

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." 

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