Oxford BioMedica Wins Significant Funding via a Competitive Award from UK Government's Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative
-- UK consortium wins £7.7 million total funding, of which £7.1 million awarded to Oxford BioMedica as lead member --
-- Funding to support the development of a centre of excellence in Oxford for specialist manufacture of gene-based therapies and to help create world-class excellence in supply chains --
Oxford, UK - 11 September 2013: Oxford BioMedica plc ("Oxford BioMedica" or "the Company") (LSE: OXB), the leading gene-based biopharmaceutical company, announces that it has been selected as a winner of a funding award under the UK Government's Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), in recognition of the Company's potential to become a world-leader in Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) manufacture and supply chain expertise.
The winning innovative projects in established UK advanced manufacturing sectors were announced today at the Government's Industrial Strategy Conference at Warwick University. AMSCI was established to help existing UK supply chains grow and achieve world-class standards.
Oxford BioMedica led the successful bid with four other UK-based participants: the Heart of England NHS Foundation, Cranfield University, Cell Therapy Catapult Ltd and Biotec Services International Ltd (together, the "consortium"). Subject to due diligence and final confirmation by Birmingham City Council, the consortium has been awarded a £2.4 million grant, of which Oxford BioMedica will receive £1.8 million, and a £5.3 million loan to Oxford BioMedica which is repayable by March 2017.
The winning project
Building on recent UK Government initiatives to support the life sciences sector, the £7.7 million total funding award will support the development of a centre of excellence in ATMP supply chains in the UK with a focus on gene-based therapies at Oxford BioMedica. In particular, over the next two years the Company, supported by the consortium, will develop its capability in serum-free, non-adherent manufacturing techniques and expand its proprietary manufacturing facility in Oxford to contain a third production suite and a state-of-the-art fill and finish operation. The overall project cost is estimated at £9.2 million and is expected to take two years to complete.
The AMSCI project win follows Oxford BioMedica's recently announced collaboration with Novartis to manufacture clinical grade material utilising the Company's LentiVector® gene delivery technology. The project will bring significant benefits to Oxford BioMedica's existing clinical programmes and further strengthens the Company's position as a partner-of-choice for companies seeking manufacturing and process development solutions for gene-based ATMPs. In addition, the project will generate both short-term and longer-term employment opportunities, and aims to bring currently outsourced parts of the supply chain back to the UK.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, commented: "We are delighted that our supply chain initiative proposal has received substantial support from the UK Government. Not only is this project funding a fantastic outcome for Oxford BioMedica which allows us to fulfil our potential as a world-class manufacturer, it also demonstrates the strong and growing demand for industrialising the development of gene-based therapies. As a UK company, we are proud to be leading the way in delivering novel therapies via integrated industrial supply chains and are pleased that our expertise has been recognised on a national scale."
Michael Fallon, UK Business and Energy Minister said: "As part of our industrial strategy, we are working closely with industry through initiatives like the AMSCI to strengthen UK supply chains - supporting greater business collaboration, further investment in skills and the development of innovative technologies and processes.
"This project, led by Oxford BioMedica, will create a new centre of excellence that will help underscore our world-leading capabilities in the biopharmaceutical sector while creating a host of new local jobs"
In December 2011, the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable announced the creation of the AMSCI. The £125 million national project aimed to improve global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chains by supporting innovative projects where the UK is well-placed to take a global lead. Following two successful rounds, additional funding of £120 million for two further AMSCI rounds was announced in the 2012 Autumn Statement. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Birmingham City Council are working together to deliver the initiative.
For further information, please contact:
Oxford BioMedica plc:
Lara Mott, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1865 783 000
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7215 6245
Mary-Jane Elliott/Emma Thompson/Matthew Neal
Consilium Strategic Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7920 2354
Notes to editors
1. About Oxford BioMedica®
Oxford BioMedica plc (LSE: OXB) is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative gene-based medicines and therapeutic vaccines that aim to improve the lives of patients with high unmet medical needs. The Company's technology platform includes a highly efficient LentiVector® gene delivery system, which has specific advantages for targeting diseases of the central nervous system and the eye; and a unique tumour antigen (5T4), which is an ideal target for anti-cancer therapy. Through in-house and collaborative research, Oxford BioMedica has a broad pipeline with current partners and licensees including Sanofi, Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MolMed, Sigma-Aldrich, Biogen Idec, Emergent BioSolutions, ImaginAb and Immune Design Corp. Further information is available at www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk and www.oxbsolutions.co.uk.
2. LentiVector® gene delivery technology
Oxford BioMedica's LentiVector® gene delivery technology is one of the most advanced gene delivery systems currently available, which has many applications in product development and discovery research. It is the system of choice for gene-based treatments addressing chronic and inherited diseases. Oxford BioMedica has established a dominant intellectual property estate in the field of lentiviral-vector mediated gene delivery through its in-house research and from work conducted by the Company's co-founders at Oxford University.
3. The Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK's innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
4. The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is the department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. BIS also protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation. For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills.
5. Birmingham City Council
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership actively supports advanced manufacturing through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. This programme, delivered through Birmingham City Council, reflects the importance of the sector within the region. For more information please visit http://birmingham.gov.uk/supportforbusinesses.
This information is provided by RNS