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Innovations leads £2.5m funding round in Oxford Biotrans

Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘the Group’, ‘Innovations’) has completed a £2.5m Series A funding round in Oxford Biotrans, a University of Oxford spin-out company, which is pioneering the commercialisation of biocatalytic processes for the production of high value specialty chemicals, based on its patented enzyme technology.

Innovations first invested in Oxford Biotrans in 2013, making a seed investment of £0.6 million in the company, alongside the University of Oxford. Innovations has now committed £1.25 million to the Series A round alongside existing investors IP Group and the University of Oxford, with new investors Oxford Innovations and Technology EIS fund and De Monchy Aromatics also participating. Innovations now holds a 41.0% stake in the Company.

Oxford Biotrans’ first product is a low-cost, natural grade nootkatone, the flavour and scent of grapefruit. Nootkatone, used in citrus soft drinks, confectionery and perfumes, is one of the most challenging ingredients to access in the world and costs around the same as beluga caviar. Oxford Biotrans’ product has already created strong market interest and will be available in commercial quantities in the coming months.

The Company has already identified several further high-value flavour product targets for the next phase of its development and plans to develop further scalable, ‘green’, and economically attractive enzymatic processes for production of these new targets. Work will also commence to explore targets in other market segments.

Jason King, CEO of Oxford Biotrans, said:

“With this new investment we shall establish purpose built facilities and build a high quality team, the first key members of which are already lined up to come on board. With these resources we shall deliver more novel processes more quickly and pursue a more aggressive and comprehensive monetisation of our technology’s full potential.”

Robert Bahns, Director Technology Ventures at Imperial Innovations, added:

“Oxford Biotrans has the potential to become a significant player in the high-growth, Industrial Biotechnology industry, so we are delighted to lead this round. The proceeds will help the Company to deliver commercial quantities of its first product, as well as build a pipeline of new ones.”

Will Barton, Chairman of Oxford Biotrans said:

“The closing of this oversubscribed investment round represents a significant endorsement of our vision for the Company by both our original investors and by our two new investors. We thank them for their strong support. With the exciting talent that this investment is already enabling us to attract, we shall be well set to deliver on our shareholders’ expectations.”

- ENDS -

Notes To Editors

About Imperial Innovations -

Imperial Innovations Group plc creates, builds and invests in pioneering technologies developed from the academic research within the ‘Golden Triangle’ broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford, which is home to the UK’s four leading research-intensive universities.

This area is home to many new technology companies through its proximity to the academic communities of Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London, as well as other leading research institutions.

Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London collectively have research income of £1.4 billion per annum and are ranked as four of the top ten Universities in the world (source: QS World University Rankings 2014/15).

Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, providing facilities in the early stages, providing investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate development, providing operational expertise and recruiting high-calibre management teams. It also runs an incubator in London that is the initial home for many of its technology spin-outs.

Since admission of its shares to trading on AIM in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £346.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, the Group has agreed £80.0 million in loan facilities from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

During the period from admission on AIM up until 31 January 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £198.3 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of £926.8 million rising to £1.0 billion including post period end investments and commitments.

Issued for and on behalf of Imperial Innovations by Instinctif Partners.

For more information please contact:

Imperial Innovations Group plc
Russ Cummings, Chief Executive Officer
Jon Davies, Director of Communications

J.P. Morgan Cazenove (Nominated Adviser)
Michael Wentworth Stanley/Alec Pratt

Cenkos Securities
Christopher Golden

Instinctif Partners
Adrian Duffield/Melanie Toyne-Sewell

020 3053 8834

020 7742 4000

020 7397 8900

020 7457 2020

Publisher Contact Information:

Imperial Innovations
020 3053 8834

Company profile of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations)
Past press releases of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations).


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