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Imperial Innovations Group plc - Innovations realises £9.5m cash from sale of portfolio company (CollegeHill)

09:25 EDT 10 Aug 2010 | BioPortfolio

London, 1 June 2010. Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, or ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment company, has realised £9.5m (gross) in cash following the sale of its portfolio company Respivert to Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. The disposal delivers a 4.7x return on Innovations’ three-year investment.

Respivert is developing a new generation of inhaled treatments for respiratory problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and severe asthma. After revenue-sharing payments of £0.2m to Imperial College London, Innovations will report a profit of £7.2m, subject to final adjustments, on the sale of its 13.4% stake in Respivert, compared with Respivert’s carrying value of £2.0m at 31 July 2009. Innovations receives £8.1m in cash today. A further £1.4m is being held in escrow and will be released within 18 months subject to any adjustments. The proceeds will be used for investment purposes.

Respivert was founded by Dr Garth Rapeport, Dr Peter Strong and Dr John Murray, all former executives at GlaxoSmithKline, together with Professor Peter Barnes FRS and Dr Kazuhiro Ito from the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College London.

Chaired by Rudi Pauwels, this team attracted a strong investor syndicate including Innovations, SV Life Sciences, Advent Venture Partners and Fidelity Biosciences. Innovations supported the formation of Respivert, provided laboratory space in its incubator and has invested £2 million since August 2007. In its last reported financial year to 31 December 2008, Respivert made a loss of £3.7m.

Susan Searle, Innovations Chief Executive, commented:

“We are delighted to have worked so closely with Respivert over the last three years to help commercialise its technology and position it for sale to such a major force in the pharmaceutical industry.

“The speed at which we have delivered this return demonstrates the strength of the Innovations model, which focuses on the rapid and profitable commercialisation of pioneering university research.

“Our first all-cash disposal, Respivert is our third significant exit and marks a turning point as our investments begin to generate substantial cash returns.”

Enquiries:

Imperial Innovations
020 7594 6589

Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer

Diana Crisp, PR Manager

College Hill
020 7457 2020

Adrian Duffield/Carl Franklin/Tony Stephenson

J.P. Morgan Cazenove (NOMAD to Imperial Innovations)
020 7588 2828

Michael Wentworth-Stanley

Notes to editors

Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk

Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy and engineering. 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 has exclusive access to scientific and technological developments coming out of Imperial College London, one of the world’s leading research institutions. It has already achieved significant success with its early investments; for example its £1.5m investment in obesity drug developer Thiakis could return up to £22m, following its sale to Wyeth for £100m in 2008.

In the year to July 2009, Innovations invested £14.4m in 20 ventures, helping to launch six new companies. With a technology portfolio of more than 80 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets, in addition to Thiakis, include:

· Ceres Power (now listed on AIM): Micro combined heat and power generators for domestic use

· Circassia: Innovative vaccines for the treatment of a wide range of allergies

· Nexeon: Advanced materials that extend the cycle life and significantly increase capacity of rechargeable batteries

· Veryan: Stents inspired by the human vascular system

About Respivert - www.respivert.com

Respivert is a small molecule drug discovery company which has identified a completely novel class of inhaled medicines for the treatment of serious respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and severe asthma. Severe forms of these diseases are poorly responsive to existing anti-inflammatory agents including inhaled corticosteroids. The new treatments identified by Respivert will target severe, corticosteroid-insensitive lung inflammation and will offer significant new treatment options for patients with severe chronic lung disease.

The Company is led by a highly experienced management team including Dr Garth Rapeport (CEO) and Dr Peter Strong (CSO), both former executives at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Kazuhiro Ito, formerly at the National Heart and Lung Institute,, Imperial College London and Dr John Murray (ex OSI Pharmaceuticals). Respivert’s non executive chairman is Rudi Pauwels, who previously co-founded Tibotec, Galapagos NV and Virco.

Respivert is based at the Imperial BioIncubator on the Imperial College campus in central London. It has been financed by leading investors including Advent Venture Partners, Fidelity Biosciences, Imperial Innovations and SV Life Sciences.

Imperial Innovations 020 7594 6589 Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer Diana Crisp, PR Manager College Hill 020 7457 2020 Adrian Duffield/Carl Franklin/Tony Stephenson J.P. Morgan Cazenove (NOMAD to Imperial Innovations) 020 7588 2828 Michael Wentworth-Stanle NEXT ARTICLE

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