COMPANIES: Immunocore to MoreySmith

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on August 21, 2017, 9:00 am in News, Other



Cancer drugs - Legal software - Investment bank -

Architects - Crazy golf venues - Cancer vaccines -

Life sciences antibodies - Cancer biopsy


Immunocore £14.3m | Opus 2 | Gleacher Shacklock £15.9m | MoreySmith £4.4m | Junkyard Golf £5.4m | Scancell Holdings £0m | Avacta £2.2m | Angle £500k


News about UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 13th - 19th August 2017:



IMMUNOCORE: cancer drugs - Oxfordshire
Biotech eyes home run | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. August 13.
DZ profile: Immunocore Limited
Business: cancer drug maker …Britain’s biggest private biotech firm …is racing to develop cancer drugs that harness the immune system to fight tumours. Has secured partnerships with giants such as GLAXO SMITH KLINE and ASTRA ZENECA
Launched: 2007 
Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Founders: Dr Bent Jakobsen, Chief Scientific Officer, MediGene AG and three private investors
Staff: employ about 350 people in the UK. Eliot Forster, chief executive, 51
Financials:  turnover £14.3m in 2015
Investment: broke records in 2015 with a $320m fundraising that valued the company at close to $1bn ….which is backed by investors including WOODFORD INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT and US pharma group ELI LILLY
1. wants to bring manufacturing to this country in a move that would create scores of jobs post-Brexit. …has a team working on plans to assess whether to switch production from the Continent to Oxfordshire ….currently outsources manufacturing to plants on the Continent, including Denmark and Finland. Shifting it to Britain would give Forster greater control.
2. The news comes weeks after Immunocore announced it was expanding its Oxfordshire laboratory by 53,000 sq ft.

Biotech star Immunocore raises cash in race to find eye cancer cure | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. September 17 2017
3.  ...poised to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding as it closes in on “unicorn” status — a start-up valued at more than $1bn. ... two years ago raised $320m (£235m) from investors thought to be targeting a sum slightly below that.
The “series B” round, likely to close within the next couple of months
4.  ... is racing to develop drugs that harness the body’s immune system to destroy tumours, in a field known as immunotherapy — one that is being targeted by the world’s biggest pharma companies. Its lead product has already produced encouraging results in a phase I trial for a drug for melanoma of the eye. The latest fundraising will give Immunocore the firepower to catapult the drug towards commercialisation....
5. The loss-making company spent £46.2m on research and development last year, up from £27.6m the previous year. It had cash of £176.6m, down from £219.7m in 2015.

OPUS 2: legal software - London
Third bonanza for court stenographer | Simon Duke, The Sunday Times. August 13
DZ profile: Opus 2 International Limited
Business: legal software firm which turns paper documents into digital files and makes transcriptions of oral evidence in real time ....whose technology has been used on the Hillsborough inquest and a range of other high-profile legal cases.
Launched: 2006
Location: London with offices in Edinburgh, San Francisco, New York and Singapore.
Founder: Graham Smith-Bernal, 59, a former court stenographer. In his twenties he founded a court reporting agency, which he sold for more than £15m. In the early 1990s, he established LiveNote, a developer of court reporting and evidence management software. In 2006, he sold it to data and news giant Thomson Reuters for about £75m.
Staff: employs 150 people worldwide
Investment: Graham Smith-Bernal has sold a minority stake to the private equity arm of ROTHSCHILD & CO …to value the nine-year-old developer at between £60m and £80m. It is understood that Smith-Bernal will retain the bulk of his holding in the business. Smith and his family currently control about 70% of the company. Other investors include Lord (Anthony) Grabiner, a leading commercial barrister and former chairman of Taveta Investments, the holding company for Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia empire.


GLEACHER SHACKLOCK: Investment bank - London
Brexit deal drought halves bank’s profits | John Collingridge, The Sunday Times. August 13
DZ profile: Gleacher Shacklock Llp
Business: Investment bank competes for deals with banking giants including Goldman Sachs, but does not have a lending or broking arm to buffer it against weak merger activity. Deal volumes in UK banking halved last year.
Launched: 2003
Location: St James’s in central London
Founder: Tim Shacklock, former deputy chairman of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.
Staff: 20
Financials: revenues fell 37% to £15.9m in 2016 on a dwindling number of transactions. That drove down profits to £7.8m from £16.7m a year earlier. Gleacher blamed “a more challenging external market environment, affected in particular by the uncertainties created by the Brexit referendum”.
News: Gleacher is understood to have seen a recent uptick in work. It is advising on deals including the Co-operative Group’s restructuring of Co-op bank.


MOREYSMITH: Architects - London
Passion for design was blueprint for success | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times. August 13
DZ profile: Morey Smith Limited
Business: Architectural design practice. Has created offices for clients including COCA-COLA, MOËT HENNESSY, BRITISH LAND and PRIMARK.
Launched: 1993
Location: Borough, across the Thames from the City
Founder: Linda Morey-Burrows, 53, set up her own studio with £20,000 borrowed from her extended family. More
Staff: Most of her 35 staff are women, though by accident rather than design, she said.
Financials: last year pre-tax profits were £2.3m on sales of £4.4m.
Investment: Today she owns 97.5% of the business; the rest is held by Andrew McCann, the creative director, who joined in 1998.
1. Morey-Burrows’s first big project was the Capital Radio headquarters in London’s Leicester Square, in 1996. Sony Music soon followed — including the design for music mogul Simon Cowell’s office at the Sony BMG base in Kensington, west London.
2. Sales are expected to be steady this year as Morey-Burrows plans to focus on expansion on the Continent rather than year-on-year growth.


JUNKYARD GOLF: crazy golf venues - Manchester
Meet the Junkyard Golf team crafting a unique night out | Alex Lawson, The Evening Standard. August 14.
DZ profile: Junkyard Golf Club Limited
Business: crazy golf bar venues in London and Manchester. On an average week, the London venue welcomes 7000 players and takes £150,000. There are pop-ups too, they’ve taken holes to offices for swift challenges and a celebrity speed-golf tournament in aid of charity Love Spec for a partnership in Malawi will take place later this year.
Launched: 2015
Location: Manchester
Founders: Chris Legh, Bart Murphy, Lyndon Higginson and Mat Lakes
Financials: turnover £5.4m in gross sales last year
1. Where the golfing quartet have put their stamp on the genre is the junk. Scouring eBay and friendly scrapyards, they’ve turned up huge bears and old fairground rides.
2. Junkyard’s expansion plans are running apace. After the Manchester move into bigger digs comes a new venue at the revamped Westgate shopping centre in Oxford, a marker in its venture into the glossy mainstream. Sites in Liverpool and Leeds are next, with Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bristol on the cards. Another venue in London, “probably in the south or west” is on the long-term whiteboard.
The hope is to have 10 sites by 2020 and increase turnover to £9 million in 2017-18.


Small-cap focus: UK biotechs seek to prosper in immunotherapy | Sarah Neville, FT. August 18, 2017

While AstraZeneca has suffered a serious setback in the hot field of cancer immunotherapy, a host of comparative minnows, undeterred, are pressing ahead with allied technologies that promise millions in future revenue. …biotech companies a fraction of its size are poised to reap significant rewards from cancer treatments, not least in the field of immunotherapy drugs.



SCANCELL HOLDINGS: cancer vaccines - Nottingham
DZ profile: Scancell Holdings Plc
Business: Biotech company. Has developed two technologies that have allowed it to create vaccines to treat cancers through harnessing the immune system to overcome a tumour’s defences against detection and destruction. The first, called ImmunoBody, enables the company to generate DNA vaccines that stimulate anti-tumour T-cells. The first product to emerge from ImmunoBody is a vaccine for the treatment of melanoma. … with eight of the patients treated in early stage clinical trials having reached the five-year survival mark. Its second platform, Moditope, targets advanced or hard-to-treat cancers. Enrolment for the first human clinical studies for this are expected to begin next year.
Launched: 2008
Location: Nottingham
Founders: Dr Richard Goodfellow (CEO) and Professor Lindy Durrant (CSO)
Financials: Key Fundamentals in year to 30-Apr-16 - Revenue (£ m) 0.00; Pre-Tax (£ m) -3.03.
Investment: Aim-listed since 30 Jul 2010 with a market capitalisation of about £34m. Founded in 1997 as a spin-out from the UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, has secured £23m funding to date.


UK biotechs seek to speed up cancer detection | Sarah Neville, FT. June 7, 2019
1. ... The company’s shares have fallen 64 per cent over the past year, due in part to the delayed start of a US clinical trial for SCIB1, a vaccine candidate generated from the ImmunoBody technology platform. The trial design has been approved by British regulatory authorities, however, and will begin in the UK in the next few weeks.



AVACTA: life sciences antibodies - Yorkshire
DZ profile: Avacta Group Plc
Business: Biotech company. Has developed a technology called Affimer, an engineered alternative to antibodies. In contrast to the complexity of antibodies, Affimers were “easy to manufacture [and] easy to tailor to suit the application”, a particular advantage in immuno-oncology. The company plans to build a pipeline of drugs that it will ultimately license to large pharma and biotech companies.
Launched: 2003
Location: Wetherby, West Yorkshire
Staff: Alastair Smith, chief executive.
Financials: in 2016 had revenues of £2.17m, up from £1.81m the year before
Investment: came to the AIM market in 2006. IP GROUP PLC – 24.8%; HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS – 11.4%; AVIVA 9.6%; BAILLIE GIFFORD & CO LIMITED – 7.2%; RUFFER LLP – 7.1%; FIDELITY - 5.9%; J O HAMBRO - 5.7%; NFU - 3.5%


ANGLE: cancer biopsy - Guildford
DZ profile: Angle Plc
Business: founded 23 years ago as an IP commercialisation company. But for the past six years it has focused entirely on a form of liquid biopsy, which captures living cancer cells from the blood without the need to cut out tissue. Its patented system, Parsortix, employs a technique known as “circulating tumour cells” that the company believes is superior to other forms of liquid biopsy, which involve analysing fragments of cancer cells that have already died. The company is on the way to becoming the first liquid biopsy system based on circulating tumour cell harvesting to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. If it can secure regulatory clearance, its potential clients are hospitals that will buy the Parsortix system, to process a patient’s blood at relatively low cost in their own laboratory. Angle is selling the system for research use to leading cancer centres in Europe and the US.
Launched: 1994
Location: Guildford
Founder: Andrew Newland, chief executive
Financials: revenues were £500,000 in the year to April 30 2017, compared with £400,000 a year earlier.
Investment: Floated on AIM, March 2004. Market capitalisation of almost £20m and has “some very strong institutional backers” whose investment has enabled it to bring its product to market.


UK biotechs lead the way in early detection of deadly diseases | Sarah Neville, FT. April 6, 2019

1. ...has developed a novel form of liquid biopsy, which captures living cancer cells from the blood without the need to cut out tissue. It is now poised to secure approval from the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, for the use of its patented system, Parsortix, to detect breast cancer that has spread elsewhere in the body. ....“harvesting cancer cells from a simple blood test.”A second study, intended to confirm the technology’s capacity to detect ovarian cancer, is also now under way in the US and it has been successfully tested in the field of prostate cancer. Mr Newland said Angle was now “working extensively with multiple research groups associated with the NHS” including THE CHRISTIE, a leading cancer hospital in Manchester, in conjunction with CANCER RESEARCH UK, and BARTS in London. The lossmaking company’s share price has risen almost 20 per cent over the past year.