Oxford Genetics tags new funding for US, UK expansion
- British synthetic biology specialist Oxford Genetics has secured £7.5 million ($9.6 million) in new funding which it will use to open a new office in the U.S. and expand its UK facility by 6,000 square feet.
- Existing investor Merica Technologies and Invesco Perpetual are behind the investment, which will boost Oxford Genetics' cell line engineering capabilities and add new production and screening systems.
- The company focuses on biologics development services and plans to expand its licensing business.
Oxford Genetics is a synthetic biology contract research organization (CRO), delivering services in custom virus production and cell line development, as well as synthetic DNA molecules.
In addition to biologics, the company also works to support cell and gene therapy developers. Earlier this year, the CRO inked a deal with ERS Genomics to access intellectual property tied to CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology.
Under the agreement, Oxford Genetics has rights to use ERS Genomics' technology to provide genome engineering services and to improve its cell line development and gene therapy viral vector operations.
Oxford Genetics currently works with Florida, U.S.-based distributor BOCA Scientific. The new investment, though, will give the company its own base on the East Coast near the biotech hubs of Cambridge and the greater Boston area.
The recent injection of funds is a follow-on investment for Merica Fund Management, which began backing Oxford Genetics in 2013. In March 2016, Merica invested £1 million in Oxford Genetics, which boosted the firm's holdings in the company to a then 36% stake.
"This sector is growing rapidly, driven by pharma and biotech companies' relentless drive for new therapeutics," said Mark Payton, head of Mercia and a board director of Oxford Genetics, in a statement on the new funding.
- Oxford Genetics Press release
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