Oxford BioMedica plc, a gene therapy company, today announced that it has agreed to acquire a manufacturing facility based in Oxford, UK from RecipharmCobra Biologics, the specialist biologics division of Recipharm AB, for a purchase price of £1.9 million.
The acquisition and operation of this manufacturing facility is a planned use of proceeds following the Company’s recent £20 million fundraising which closed on 10 January 2011. The acquisition of the facility is expected to complete by the end of February 2011.
The manufacturing facility will enable Oxford BioMedica to have greater control of the production of its proprietary LentiVector gene delivery technology in order to support five of the Company’s clinical programmes. With the ocular products partnered with sanofi-aventis advancing into Phase I/II development during 2011, in addition to the planned progression of ProSavin® into a randomised Phase II study for Parkinson’s disease in 2012, the facility is expected to deliver long-term operational and financial efficiencies for the Company in comparison to outsourcing processes to a specialist contract manufacturing organisation. This acquisition will also reduce the Company’s dependence on a single manufacturing source for its growing clinical portfolio and facilitate the rapid implementation of improved manufacturing processes at increased scale.
The facility totals approximately 16,000 square feet, which includes c. 4,400 square feet in cleanrooms, and is already configured to meet the Company’s manufacturing requirements. The facility was previously approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. Oxford BioMedica anticipates a minimum of 12 months to re-commission the facility which will include the first phase of staff recruitment towards the anticipated fully-operational level of about 35 to 40 staff. The Company estimates an annual running cost of approximately £2.2 million per annum for the facility.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, said: “As our ocular programme continues to advance we look forward to the significant growth of our clinical portfolio from two lead products, ProSavin® for Parkinson’s disease and RetinoStat® for “wet” AMD, to five clinical products using our proprietary LentiVector® gene delivery technology. Investment in our specialist manufacturing processes will ensure the rapid progression of these five products through Phase II, Phase III and to market. Importantly, this acquisition also provides the opportunity for Oxford BioMedica to become the LentiVector® technology supplier of choice for its current and future partners which could provide additional revenues in the coming years.”
Oxford BioMedica plc