IP Group plc (LON:IPO), the developer of intellectual property-based businesses, has today noted that its portfolio company Genomics plc, has announced that Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has led an oversubscribed £25.0m Series B financing round and signed a three-year collaboration agreement.
Genomics, a spin-out from the University of Oxford, is a data science company specialising in the use of human genetic information to improve drug development. The collaboration with Vertex will further advance Vertex’s efforts to develop transformative medicines for people with serious diseases.
Other investors in the £25.0m financing, alongside IP Group, comprised Woodford Investment Management Ltd, Invesco Perpetual, Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), Lansdowne Partners and Tanarra. Genomics will use the proceeds of the fundraising to enable further expansion, to continue to enhance its powerful database and to pursue opportunities that emerge in this fast-growing space.
IP Group plc and its managed fund, IP Venture Fund II, committed £1.4m and £0.6m respectively to the fundraising. Following completion of the financing round, IP Group’s undiluted beneficial holding of 12.4% in Genomics is valued at £9.0m and IP Venture Fund II’s 5.3% holding is valued at £3.8m. As a result of the Group’s 33% limited partnership interest in IP Venture Fund II, its effective beneficial interest in Genomics is approximately 14.2%.
Genomics has developed a unique analysis engine which uses genetics to understand human biology and the likely efficacy and safety of potential novel medicines. The Genomics engine is the largest of its kind in the world, with over 100 billion data points. It links human genetic variation at over 14 million positions in the human genome to changes in 7,000 molecular, cellular, and physiological measurements and disease outcomes. The company uses breakthrough proprietary machine learning and statistical algorithms to predict the impact of therapeutic interventions.
Scientists from Vertex and Genomics will work closely together to incorporate their deep understanding of human genetics into research and development related to target discovery and target validation in certain diseases. Both companies will also have the opportunity to suggest additional diseases for the collaboration, where human genetic evidence may be particularly powerful.
In addition to funding the resources committed by Genomics to the collaboration, Vertex will make milestone and royalty payments to the company for novel targets resulting from the collaboration that are taken through clinical development.