Innovations leads $28m funding round for Oxford Immunotec
June 18th 2012: Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, has led a $28m funding round for Oxford Immunotec, alongside Invesco Perpetual and existing investors
Oxford Immunotec, is a medical diagnostics company developing novel diagnostic tests in the field of immunological disease. Spun out from the University of Oxford in 2002, Oxford Immunotec is a well-established, international business, with rapid revenue growth.
Oxford Immunotec will use the funds raised to develop further its logistics, sales and delivery infrastructure in the US. In 2011 it increased its lab testing capacity by building a new CLIA lab facility in Memphis, through which it can achieve unparalleled US national coverage and turnaround time.
Oxford Immunotec’s lead product is the T-SPOT®TB test, an immunological blood test for the detection of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection. This represents a major global market opportunity, particularly in the US where certain professions undergo compulsory annual TB screenings and there are large populations of immunosuppressed patients, such as those with HIV or rheumatoid arthritis, for whom screening is mandated.
The World Health Organisation estimated in 2006 that 50 million latent TB screening tests were performed each year, representing a greater than $1bn per annum market opportunity for TB testing globally.
The T-SPOT.TB test is replacing the traditional screening technology, the 90-year old tuberculin skin test, which can generate a high frequency of false-positive and false-negative skin reactions as well as being problematic to perform.
Innovations and Invesco Perpetual each invested $9.5 million in this round. The company was also supported by existing investors including Clarus, New Leaf, DFJ Esprit, Wellington Partners, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, SPARK Ventures and the University of Oxford (OSEM) who invested the remaining $9 million. Following the investment Innovations will hold a 7% stake in the Company.
Prior to this investment, Oxford Immunotec had raised $82m across four rounds of institutional investment. Nigel Pitchford, Managing Director of Healthcare Investments at Innovations, will rejoin the board of Oxford Immunotec, having previously been on the board of the company from 2010-11.
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said:
“We are excited to have led this significant funding round for one of our collaborators, OSEM’s, flagship assets. Oxford Immunotec is a well-run, high-growth company in an exciting space. This funding provides it with the capital to expand its operations in key markets and enables a UK university spin out to become a truly multinational business.”
“We have benefitted significantly from Nigel Pitchford’s insight and prior knowledge of Oxford Immunotec and are pleased to be leading this later stage investment for a company that is part of the Oxford Cluster.”
Dr Peter Wrighton-Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Immunotec, said:
“This $28m funding exceeded our funding goal and is further validation of the market opportunity we are pursuing, the strength of our lab-based US business model and our early progress in penetrating that market. This funding will help us to expand sales & marketing at a faster rate, to penetrate new geographies and to accelerate the development and commercialization of other assays for our expanding customer base.”
Imperial Innovations 020 7594 6589
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer
Diana Crisp, PR Manager
College Hill 020 7457 2020
Adrian Duffield/Rozi Morris/Tim Watson
J.P. Morgan Cazenove 020 7588 2828
Michael Wentworth-Stanley/Paul Park
Notes to editors
Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.
Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:
- leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages
- providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products
- providing operational expertise
- helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members
Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.
By raising £140 million in January 2011, Innovations has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments. In the year to 31 July 2011, Innovations invested £35.1 million (2010: £14 million) in 23 ventures, and launched six new companies.
In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative vaccines for the treatment of a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
Oxford Immunotec - www.oxfordimmunotec.com
Oxford Immunotec Ltd., a global immunology-focused diagnostic company, is headquartered near Oxford, UK; its US operations are based in Marlborough, MA. The company is developing novel new tests in the fields of infectious and immunological disease based primarily on its patented T-SPOT® technology, the first FDA-approved method for directly quantifying antigen-specific T cells.
T-SPOT technology is a simple and extremely accurate method of studying a person’s cellular immune response and, as such, provides a unique methodology to diagnose and monitor diseases driven by a T cell response.