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12 December 2017

Fusion Antibodies amps up for IPO

Queen's University spinout Fusion Antibodies is targeting $7.4m in proceeds in an IPO that will provide an exit to Qubis and Invest NI.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Fusion Antibodies, a UK-based genomics modelling platform spun out of Queen’s University Belfast, will raise £5.5m ($7.4m) in its initial public offering on Aim, the Irish News reported today.

The flotation will value Fusion Antibodies at £18.1m and provide an exit to Queen’s University's commercialisation arm Qubis as well as state-owned economic development agency Invest NI, which most recently put $103,000 into the business in 2013.

Founded in 2001, Fusion Antibodies provides model antibodies to drug discovery businesses seeking DNA-based responses to diseases such as cancer and E. coli.

Fusion Antibodies expects to join the floor in London on December 18 and will trade under the ticker symbol Fab. Proceeds will be used to double its headcount to 50 and double the size of its headquarters.

VC firm Crescent Capital, through its Crescent Capital II fund, will remain the spinout’s largest shareholder, owning 12%, followed by Viridian Growth Fund at 8.29% and Invest NI at 4.41%.

Fusion previously received $590,000 from undisclosed investors in 2009, according to deals database PitchBook.

The business had previously raised $2.44m in 2007 from Qubis, Invest NI and the research-focused University Challenge Fund as well Crescent Capital, Clarendon Fund Managers and Viridian Growth Fund.

The spinout will become the third Northern Ireland-based company to trade shares publicly – the other two being consultancy First Derivatives and software developer Kainos.

Paul Kerr, chief executive of Fusion Antibodies, said: “We are pleased with the level of interest generated from new institutional investors in support of our Aim listing.

"When concluded we anticipate the placing to be oversubscribed and this demonstrates the strong support for our business strategy as we continue to invest in further growth across the business.

“We have established Fusion as a one-stop-shop for antibody engineering and humanisation, and cell line development for the world's largest developers of antibody-based therapeutics drugs and diagnostics.

"We already have our first humanisation project in clinical trials and expect more to follow, and continue to grow the business having established a healthy forward order book.

"The move to Aim and the additional funding will allow us to continue this growth trajectory by expanding our capacity and developing our offering of new, high value, market differentiating products.”

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