Allergy treatment-maker Circassia has raised £200 million, listing at the top of its range at 310p per share and valuing the business at £581 million, in the UK’s largest biotech stock market listing in more than a decade.
It means Imperial Innovations, the business which invests in spin-out companies from the UK’s top universities, has turned its £25.5 million investment into a stake worth £82 million.
Circassia’s cat allergy vaccine is in Phase III trials, at present recruiting another 400 patients to add to the 800 who will test the treatment for one year. It could then be submitted to the drug watchdogs and be on its way to treating the 24 million in the US alone who are allergic to cats.
Chief executive Steven Harris said: “We have a platform that can be rolled out to further allergies, and only need to get one product approved in US for all our shareholders to do very well. Being cat allergic can have a huge impact on people’s lives — even sitting on a bus next to someone with cat hairs can make people feel very unwell.”
Circassia — whose early backers included Neil Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual — is now also working on vaccines against hayfever and dust mite allergies.