— 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.