PolyTherics merges with Antitope

London-based biopharmaceuticals developer also receives new investment to accelerate growth

PolyTherics has merged with Antitope, a provider of antibody engineering and immunogenicity screening services located in Cambridge, UK, to create an enlarged group with a suite of services and technologies to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.

PolyTherics is issuing new shares up to an aggregate value of £13.5m to fund the merger and to provide working capital for the enlarged group.

Imperial Innovations led the investment and brought in new investor Invesco Perpetual with further funds provided by Mercia Fund Management and Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund.

PolyTherics says the enlarged group will leverage its combined portfolio of proprietary and complementary technologies and services to address key needs in biopharmaceutical development. This portfolio will include conjugation technologies to produce more stable and homogeneous antibody drug conjugates, technologies to optimise the pharmacokinetics of biologics, technologies for immunogenicity screening, technologies to re-engineer antibodies and proteins to reduce their immunogenicity, and cell line development technologies.

The combination of PolyTherics and Antitope is a significant strategic step, immediately broadening our business and accelerating our growth

John Burt will continue as CEO of PolyTherics, while Matthew Baker will continue as Chief Scientific Officer for Antitope and the company will continue to operate from the Babraham Research Campus as a wholly owned subsidiary of the PolyTherics group.

According to PolyTherics, the expanded offering will provide a ‘broad technology platform for growth and a solid financial base’. Growing revenues will come from the services offered by Antitope and feasibility studies undertaken by PolyTherics and from pre-defined milestone payments under licence agreements for the group’s conjugation and de-immunisation technologies. These licences also have the potential to provide future royalties on a portfolio of products, which use the group’s proprietary technologies.

‘The combination of PolyTherics and Antitope is a significant strategic step, immediately broadening our business and accelerating our growth,’ said Burt.

‘We look forward to building PolyTherics into a leading global provider of technologies that enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.’

Baker added: ‘The combined company will have critical mass in terms of technologies, skills and resources and will enable us to leverage the full potential of our antibody engineering and deimmunisation platforms.’

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