Oxford Bio to seek £30m at full listing

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The Independent Online

Oxford Biomedica, the gene therapy company, is looking to raise £30m when it moves from the Alternative Investment Market to take a full listing early next year.

Oxford Biomedica, the gene therapy company, is looking to raise £30m when it moves from the Alternative Investment Market to take a full listing early next year.

The group said yesterday it had raised £8.5m in a share placing to fund a new gene discovery division which will adapt its gene therapy technology to identify genes actively involved in disease mechanisms. Oxford placed 14.6 million shares at 60p with institutional investors.

However, the group said that it was constrained by the market's scepticism towards biotechnology. Andrew Wood, finance director, said: "It's been an appalling time to raise money. I'd like to have got £30m in the bank, but life isn't as simple as that."

Mr Wood said Oxford BioMedica would look to raise £30m, equivalent to three years' working capital, when it takes a full listing in the first quarter of next year. The company needs to have two products in clinical trials to qualify for a full listing and so depends on its drug Trovax joining another cancer vaccine, MetXia, which is already in trials.

The company's new gene division will lift the group's cash burn from £4.5m to around £7.5m a year.

Oxford BioMedica uses discoveries from the mapping of the human genome to develop proteins that are injected into the body to stimulate genes to perform particular functions. These include genes that kill tumours and those that stop the replication of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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