Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), the independent investment company created to found, fund and build transformational businesses via its unique partnership with the University of Oxford, announced it has raised a further £250 million ($300 million) in funding. This brings the total amount raised by OSE to more than £850 million (>$1 billion) since inception in 2015 according to the company´s statement.
These funds enable OSE to identify further exceptional science from the University of Oxford, providing initial funding, hands-on support and access to expert networks and start-up infrastructure, to create new spinouts across Life Sciences, Health Tech and Deep Tech.
The fundraise involved a diverse group of international investors, with strong participation from existing and new blue-chip investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pension funds and asset managers. Since founding in 2015, OSE has invested in over 80 ambitious companies built on Oxford science, committing £0.5 billion itself and attracting over £1 billion from blue-chip, global co-investors. To date OSE has helped progress 27 companies from seed to Series A and 21 to Series B and beyond, including 2 IPOs and 5 trade exits.
In addition to funding, OSE provides strategic business-building and operational support to its portfolio companies, including access to a global network of entrepreneurs and advisers, and has added over 55,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art lab and start-up space. With the increased funds, OSE will continue to support its existing and maturing portfolio, deploying "increasingly large amounts of capital in later-stage funding rounds", as OSE managers emphasise. This ability to provide scale-up capital is crucial for OSE to enable its businesses to advance through key development milestones, maximising their chances of success and increasing potential returns and impact.
Alexis Dormandy, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to successfully complete this new fundraising. Attracting such high quality new and existing global investors reflects their enthusiasm for the strength of Oxford’s science and our plans to drive positive impact from it." He continues: “This fundraise comes at an exciting and pivotal time for OSE. We have built a talented team and proved our model of translating ground-breaking science into a diverse portfolio of transformational businesses. Our companies are making remarkable breakthroughs from cancer, heart failure and infectious diseases, to climate change, food security and quantum computing.”
Recent Portfolio Highlights
OSE was a founding investor in Vaccitech in 2016, enabling the development of its underlying technology through several private financing rounds to its listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US in 2021. Vaccitech was instrumental in the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which has had a remarkable impact on human health and represents 98% of vaccines provided by COVAX.
Other notable portfolio companies in which OSE has made significant investments, include:
- Base Genomics: In October 2020, the company, which developed a revolutionary early-stage cancer detection technology, was acquired by Exact Sciences for $410 million.
- First Light Fusion: In April 2022, First Light announced it had achieved projectile fusion through its revolutionary approach that offers a faster and cheaper pathway to clean energy production.
- ORCA Computing: In June 2022, ORCA raised $15 million in Series A financing and provided the first quantum computer to the UK Ministry of Defence to enhance its data processing capabilities.
- OMass Therapeutics: In April 2022, OMass raised $100 million in Series B financing to advance its novel drug pipeline for immunology and rare diseases.
- MiroBio: In June 2022, MiroBio raised $97 million in Series B financing to advance its pipeline of immune checkpoint agonists for autoimmune diseases.
- moa Technology: In May 2022, moa raised $44 million in Series B financing to develop safe and sustainable herbicides and improve crop yields to feed a growing global population