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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

10 May 2017 Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc ("the Company" or "OT4") Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2017 The Directors are pleased to announce the audited results of the Company for the year ended 28 February 2017 and a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts ("Accounts") will be made available to Shareholders shortly.  Set out below are extracts of the audited Accounts. References to page numbers below are to those Accounts. The AGM will be held at The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA on Wednesday 5 July 2017, at 11am. A copy of the Annual Report and Accounts will be available from the registered office of the Company at The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA, as well as on the Company's website: www.oxfordtechnology.com I am pleased to present my annual report for the year to 28 February 2017 to fellow shareholders. Whilst last year, I was pleased to be able to report significant realisations from the portfolio, this year has been a year of portfolio growth, with several portfolio companies raising additional capital during the year, with your company supporting most of them. Whilst most fundraisings were successful, confirming the company valuation, not all were as successful as might have been hoped, and as a result some significant reductions in valuation have been recorded. Follow on investments were made into five portfolio companies:  Arecor (£200k), Immbio (£98k), Orthogem (£100k), Plasma Antennas (£202k) and Zuvasyntha (£30k).  Glide also raised money during the year but on unattractive terms. Whilst your company only holds two AIM stocks, both showed significant falls in share price during the year. Largely because of Glide and AIM movements, net asset value per share fell by 14.9p during the year. The net asset value per share on 28 February 2017 was 51.9p compared to 66.8p on 29 February 2016.  No dividend was paid during the year. The Company's portfolio still contains 18 holdings, at different stages of development.  The directors continue to monitor all companies, looking for the optimum time to realise your investment. Your company continues to invest in support of its portfolio as investee companies develop. £200k was invested in Arecor to support its transition from a research-led company to a product-led company including an initiative with the US Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the delivery of ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin. In February 2017, Arecor was awarded a £1m grant from Innovate UK towards clinical trials. £98k was invested into ImmBio to support the completion of their First-in-Human study of its novel vaccine, PnuBioVax(TM), against the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.  PnuBioVax was found to be safe and well tolerated, and capable of producing antibody responses against key S. pneumoniae antigens broadly conserved across strains.  The company is now in detailed discussions with larger organisations regarding commercialisation. A further £100k was invested in Orthogem to enable it to register its new product TriPore Putty.  The synthetic bone market has moved significantly towards putties, and the commercial launch of their new product is expected to have a significant impact on sales. Plasma Antennas received a further investment of £200k, with an additional £2k being used to exercise warrants.  Plasma continues in discussion with several large players particularly around 4G and 5G telecommunications. £30k was invested into ZuvaSyntha who continue to progress towards commercialisation of their products with potential customers identified. Select Technology remains profitable and cash generative, paying another dividend in January, and further dividends are expected in future.  The company has continued to grow, though profits have been slightly impacted as Select Technology transitions its business model to ensure long term growth.  However, the lower reported profits have caused a reduction in our valuation (by £96K). Glide Pharmaceuticals was anticipating an AIM flotation, but needed to raise pre-IPO funding.  Despite considerable interest, the eventual offer that the company accepted was at an extremely high discount to previous rounds, and has a significant preference ahead of ordinary shareholders.  Combined with existing preferences from earlier funding rounds, this has resulted in a significant write down in valuation. This is highly disappointing for the Oxford VCTs as the initial investors in the company.   OT4 chose not to invest as the advantageous terms were not available to OT4. The share price of Castleton Technology plc fell from 79.0p on 29 February 2016 to 56.8p on 28 February 2017.  The share price of Abzena fell from 49.5p to 36.8p over the same period.  Whilst disappointing, your board continues to believe both shares have potential for increased value and remain sensible holds as part of managing the company's cash reserves. Further details on the other major investments are contained within the Investment Manager's Report, and on our website. We continue to seek opportune moments to maximise value from our portfolio, but we do not currently foresee any further major liquidity events in the near future. Continued Improvements to Cost Effectiveness and VCT Market Changes. Following the reduction of fees announced last year, your Board continues to look at methods of reducing running costs as well as improving liquidity for shareholders who wish to realise their holdings. Your VCT does not have shareholders sheltering Capital Gains, so has options available which might not be possible for older VCTs. Shareholders may be aware of some significant changes to the VCT market in recent years.  Current fund raisings into VCTs are at a record high, as changes to pension tax reliefs are driving investors to look for alternative tax efficient investments.  Combined with changes to VCT legislation designed to target more VCT money towards the types of companies that OT4 has always invested in may present an opportunity for your VCT to exploit. Several options are being explored, and your Board is hoping to bring forward proposals later in the year which will increase options for shareholders. In the interim the Board would like to have the flexibility to buy back shares and is therefore proposing a buyback resolution at the AGM. This will be proposed as an Ordinary Resolution in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 (Amendment of Part 18) Regulations 2013. Audit Tender New legislation has been introduced in the UK on audit firm rotation, resulting from the new European Audit Regulation Directive, making it mandatory for listed companies to undergo a tender process for the audit of their company at least every ten years. An audit firm can, however, be appointed for up to twenty years provided a public tender process has been carried out after ten years. The Company has therefore recently conducted an audit tender process. The Board, on the recommendation of the Audit Committee, has decided to recommend the re-appointment of James Cowper Kreston as the Company's external auditor. For further information on the audit tender, please see the Audit Committee section of the Corporate Governance Statement on page 34 of this Annual Report. Shareholders should note that the AGM for the Company will be held on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at the Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, starting at 11am and will include presentations by Oxford Technology Management and some of the companies that the Oxford Technology VCTs have invested in. A formal Notice of the AGM has been enclosed with these Financial Statements together with a Form of Proxy for those not attending. We appreciate the input of our shareholders and look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible on the day. The year under review was dominated by two major political events, the UK's vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump to the office of US President. In the case of the EU referendum, the leave result triggered a significant fall in the value of sterling, and it has so far remained weak. This in turn led to the increase in valuation of UK larger companies, which have a bias towards overseas earnings. The more immediate impact on our own UK smaller investees has been to improve those with overseas revenues in sterling terms while increasing the costs for those with foreign activities or imports. These impacts are not yet material. The longer term UK/EU trading issues will take time to emerge but clearly one impact is that our investee company sterling valuations now look more attractive to overseas buyers. Post referendum the new Theresa May government has retained the VCT model although we anticipate it will continue to be kept under review to ensure that it delivers value to the taxpayer. The Oxford Technology VCTs have operated and continue to operate very much in the spirit of the VCT legislation by investing in and subsequently supporting early stage technology companies. Unfortunately the current VCT rules sometimes limit the amount of follow on investment that we are able to make. Whilst this year has contained some disappointing news, the Board's outlook has not changed from a year ago. The portfolio remains diversified, with investees at different stages of development.  Your Board monitors each investee, with clear views as to the value milestones which will allow investments to be realised.  We continue to work to maximise value for shareholders and will, as per our stated strategy, seek to crystallise this value and distribute to shareholders via dividend payments when valuations and liquidity allow. OT4 was formed in 2004 and has invested in 35 companies which were start-up or early stage technology companies.  Some of these companies failed with the loss of the investment.  Some have succeeded and have been sold.  The table on page 14 and 15 shows the companies remaining in the portfolio.  A more detailed analysis is given of the major investments on the following pages.  Several still have the potential to deliver significant returns. OT4 received shares in AIM-listed Castleton Technology as part of the proceeds of sale when Castleton purchased Impact Applications in 2015. Castleton is a provider of software, services and IT infrastructure to the social, public and commercial housing sector.  During the year Castleton posted its first profits and had several major contract wins including first contracts in Australia.  The effective price of acquisition of these shares for OT4 was 45p.   As at 28 February 2017, the bid price for the shares was 56.5p. Select Technology specialises in software for photocopiers - now known as MFDs - Multi-Function Devices.  Over the last decade Select has built up a global network of distributors and dealers through which it sells both products which it has developed itself and products which have been produced by others.  These products now include PaperCut, Kpax, Foldr and Drivve Image. Select has made steady financial progress.  Sales have increased from £210k in the year to July 2010 to £5.2m in the year to July 2016.  Select is profitable and cash generative and is likely to be a position to pay regular dividends in future.  It is a modern company in the sense that it has employees all over the world, and usually only one person in the office in Basingstoke: everyone works remotely. Arecor is making encouraging progress.  In particular it is developing its own products for the better treatment of diabetes.  In February 2017, Arecor won a grant of just over £1m to help with this programme.  Arecor has signed a £45m headline license deal regarding insulin glargine with India's largest privately held pharmaceutical company, Cadila.  Details of the deal have not been disclosed. Plasma Antennas has developed a range of next generation smart selectable antenna technologies and has a prototype of a true plasma antenna, which it is hoped may be at the centre of tomorrow's communications systems.  Plasma Antennas is currently in discussions with three large electronics companies.  It is hoped that a partnership deal can be concluded with one or more of them. £98,000 was invested in March 2016 into ImmBio to help support the commercialisation of the Pneumonia vaccine which had a successful phase 1 clinical trial in spring 2016.  Discussions with potential licensees are progressing satisfactorily, but of course nothing will be certain until deals are actually signed. Dynamic Extractions was formed as a spin-out from Brunel University in 2005.  The objective of the company was to commercialise a technology developed at Brunel University for high performance counter current chromatography.  Initially the business was based on the trading estate in Slough, and designed and sold HPCCC instruments which were manufactured by subcontract.  The company and its business model have been transformed in the last two years.  The HPCC instruments have been redesigned from scratch and the first of the much improved instruments, manufactured by a subcontractor in Wales which has added a mezzanine floor to its factory specifically for the purpose, emerged in late 2016.  Also, although the sale of HPCCC instruments remains part of the business (these are now in use all over the world) more of the company's effort will be devoted to using its own technology to produce valuable compounds for sale. OT4 was the first investor in Diamond Hard Surfaces (DHS) when the company was formed and owns just under 50%.   It has taken a long time, but it is good to report that DHS is now making regular sales to a growing number of companies and many of them overseas, and that the company made a small profit for the first time in the year to December 2016.  There are numerous applications in many industries for the DHS coating, and new applications and new customers are being added all the time, many of whom have tried other coatings first. The other remarkable property of the DHS coating is that it is an almost perfect electrical insulator, but has three times the thermal conductivity of copper.  This means the coating is finding increasing applications in microchips and electrical circuits to dissipate heat. Oxis Energy is developing a Lithium Sulphur rechargeable battery with a significantly higher specific energy (energy storage per unit weight) than the currently available Lithium Ion batteries. OT2 was the first investor in Oxis Energy (then known as Intellikraft) in January 2000. OT4 invested in November 2005. In October 2016 Oxis Energy announced that it had successfully demonstrated that its battery cells now store 400Wh/Kg.  This battery is now planned to be tested in electric vehicles. Despite having a successful clinical trial in summer 2016, in December Glide raised capital on terms which were very unfavourable to the early shareholders, resulting in a significant reduction in the valuation of OT4's shareholding. New Investments in the year There were five follow on investments during the year of £100,000 into Orthogem, £30,000 into ZuvaSyntha, £200,000 into Arecor, £202,000 into Plasma Antennas and a further £98,000 into ImmBio.  All new investments have complied with both EU State Aid rules and HMRC VCT rules. OT4's holding in Naked Objects was sold for £10,000. The remaining payments due from Pharma Engineering were received with OT4 getting £17,000. Further payments were received from Imagineer Systems totalling £19,000. Quoted and unquoted investments are valued in accordance with current industry guidelines that are compliant with International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines and current financial reporting standards. Compliance with the main VCT regulations as at 28 February 2017 and for the year then ended is summarised as follows: At least 10% of each investment in a qualifying company is held in 'eligible shares' - Complied. No more than 15% of the income from shares and securities is retained - Complied. No investment constitutes more than 15% of the Company's portfolio (by value at time of investment) - Complied. No investment made by the VCT has caused the company to receive more than £5m of State Aid investment in the year - Complied. Table of Investments held by Company at 28 February 2017 Number of shares in issue:  11,516,946 Net Asset Value per share at 28 February 2017: 51.9p Dividends paid to date: 37.0p The table shows the current portfolio holdings.  The investments in Bluewater Bio, Cutting the Wires, Dynamic Discovery, EKB, Ingenious, Inspiration Matters, Kinomi, MirriAd and Water Innovate have been written off.   The investments in Dexela, Imagineer Systems, Impact Applications, Incentec, Mecira, OxTox, Pharma Engineering, Telegesis and Naked Objects have been sold.   Some shares in Abzena and Castleton have also been sold. The Directors present their report together with financial statements for the year ended 28 February 2017. The Directors consider that the Annual Report and Financial Statements, taken as a whole is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's performance, business model and strategy. This report has been prepared by the Directors in accordance with the requirements of s415 of the Companies Act 2006.  The Company's independent auditor is required by law to report on whether the information given in the Directors' Report is consistent with the financial statements. The Company commenced business in 2004.  The Company invests in start-up and early stage technology companies in general located within 60 miles of Oxford.  The Company has maintained its approved status as a Venture Capital Trust by HMRC. The Directors of the Company are required to notify their interests under Disclosure and Transparency Rule 3.12R.  The present and previous membership of the Board and their beneficial interests in the ordinary shares of the company at 28 February 2017 and at 29 February 2016 are set out below: Under the Company's Articles of Association one third of the Directors are required to retire by rotation each year.  Richard Roth and David Livesley will be nominated for re-appointment at the forthcoming AGM.  The Board believes that both non-executive Directors continue to provide a valuable contribution to the Company and remain committed to their roles.  The Board recommends that Shareholders support the resolutions to re-elect Richard Roth and David Livesley at the forthcoming AGM. The Board is cognisant of shareholders' preference for Directors not to sit on the boards of too many larger companies ("overboarding").  Shareholders will be aware that in July 2015, the Company, along with the other VCTs that were managed by Oxford Technology Management, appointed directors such that the four VCTs each had a Common Board.  In addition, Richard Roth has subsequently also become a Director of Hygea VCT plc, a VCT investing in the Med Tech sector which is also self-managed and has a number of investments in common with the Oxford Technology VCTs.  Whilst great care is taken to safeguard the interests of the shareholders of each separate company, there is an element of overlap in the workload of each Director across the four OT funds due to the way the VCTs are managed.  The Directors note that the workload related to the four OT funds is less than it would be for four totally separate and larger funds, and are satisfied that Richard Roth has the time to focus on the requirements of each OT fund. OT4 Managers Ltd, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, has an agreement to provide investment management services to the Company for a fee of 1% of net assets per annum.  David Livesley and Richard Roth, together with Lucius Cary are Directors in OT4 Managers Ltd. The Company has maintained insurance cover on behalf of the Directors, indemnifying them against certain liabilities which may be incurred by them in relation to their duties as Directors of the Company The Board has reviewed and continues to review all aspects of internal governance to mitigate the risk of breaches of VCT rules or company law.     Whistleblowing The Board has been informed that the Investment Manager has arrangements in place in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code's recommendations by which staff of Oxford Technology Management or the Secretary of the Company may, in confidence, raise concerns within their respective organisations about possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting or other matters. The Company is committed to carrying out business fairly, honestly and openly.  The Investment Manager has established policies and procedures to prevent bribery within its organisation.  The Company has adopted a zero tolerance approach to bribery and will not tolerate bribery under any circumstance in any transaction the Company is involved in. The Company has instructed the Investment Manager to adopt the same approach with investee companies. The Company values the views of its shareholders and recognises their interest in the Company.   The Company's website provides information on all of the Company's investments, as well as other information of relevance to shareholders (www.oxfordtechnology.com/vct4). Shareholders have the opportunity to meet the Board at the Annual General Meeting.  In addition to the formal business of the AGM the Board is available to answer any questions a shareholder may have. The Board is also happy to respond to any written queries made by shareholders during the course of the year and can be contacted at the Company's registered office:  The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA. After making enquiries, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason they have adopted the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. At 28 February 2017, the Company has been notified by Neville Registrars of two investors whose interest exceeds three percent of the Company's issued share capital (Harewood Nominees Ltd 8.9% (representing the beneficial interest of Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund); and Hargreaves Lansdown (Nominees) Ltd, 3.4%). James Cowper Kreston offer themselves for re-appointment in accordance with Section 489 of the Companies Act 2006. On behalf of the Board David Livesley Chairman 10 May 2017 This report has been prepared by the Directors in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. The Company's independent auditor, James Cowper Kreston, is required to give its opinion on certain information included in this report. This report includes a statement regarding the Directors' Remuneration Policy. Resolutions to approve the Directors' Remuneration Report will be proposed at the Annual General Meeting on 5 July 2017. The Directors' Remuneration Policy was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 26 August 2015. The Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ended 29 February 2016 was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 8 July 2016 on a unanimous show of hands and 86% of proxies voted in favour. This report sets out the Company's forward-looking Directors' Remuneration Policy and the Annual Remuneration Report which describes how this policy has been applied during the year. The Board consists entirely of non-executive Directors who meet at least four times a year and on other occasions as necessary to deal with important aspects of the Company's affairs. Directors are appointed with the expectation that they will serve for at least three years and are expected to devote the time necessary to perform their duties.  All Directors retire at the first general meeting after election and thereafter every third year, with at least one Director standing for election or re-election each year.  Re-election will be recommended by the Board but is dependent upon shareholder vote. Directors who have been in office for more than nine years will stand for annual re-election in line with the AIC Code. There are no service contracts in place, but Directors have a letter of appointment. The Board acts as the Remuneration Committee and meets annually to review Directors' pay to ensure it remains appropriate given the need to attract and retain candidates of sufficient calibre and ensure they are able to devote the time necessary to lead the Company in achieving its strategy.  The Board has not engaged any third party consultancy services, but did consult with the previous Chairmen, Michael O'Regan of Oxford Technology 2 VCT and Richard Vessey of Oxford Technology 3 VCT when the current levels were determined in 2015. The Articles of Association of the company state that the aggregate of the remuneration (by way of fee) of all the Directors shall not exceed £50,000 per annum unless otherwise approved by Ordinary Resolution of the Company. Based on the Company sharing a Common Board with the other Oxford Technology VCT funds the following Directors' fees are payable by the Company; David Livesley chairs the Company. Richard Roth chairs the Audit Committee, with Robin Goodfellow as a member of the Committee.  As the VCT is self-managed, the Audit Committee carries out a particularly important role for the VCT and has played a greater part in the production of the annual accounts compared to earlier years. Fees are currently paid annually. The fees are not specifically related to the Directors' performance, either individually or collectively.  No expenses are paid to the Directors.  There are no share option schemes or pension schemes in place but Directors are entitled to a share of the carried interest as detailed below. David Livesley and Richard Roth receive no remuneration in respect of their directorships of OT4 Managers Ltd, the Company's Investment Manager. The performance fee is detailed in note 3. Current Directors are entitled to benefit from any payment made, subject to a formula driven by relative lengths of service.  The performance fee becomes payable if a certain cash return threshold to shareholders is exceeded - the excess is then subject to a 20% carry that is distributed to Oxford Technology Management, past Directors and current Directors; the remaining 80% is returned to shareholders.  At 28 February 2017 no performance fee was accrued for. Should any performance fee be payable at the end of the year to 28 February 2018, Alex Starling, Robin Goodfellow, and Richard Roth would each receive 0.19% of any amount over the threshold and David Livesley 1.17%.  No performance fee will be payable for the year ending 28 February 2017 unless original shareholders have received back at least 113.1p in cash for each 100p (gross) invested. The Company has no employees, so no consultation with employees or comparison measurements with employee remuneration are appropriate. In the event of anyone ceasing to be a Director, for any reason, no loss of office payments will be made.  There are no contractual arrangements entitling any Director to any such payment. Prior to his appointment as a director of OT4, Richard Roth received an additional one off payment of £2,000 in the year to 29 February 2016 as compensation for executive work undertaken in relation to the setting up of the Common Board structure. There was no other Comprehensive Income recognised during the year. The 'Total' column of the Income Statement is the Profit and Loss account of the Company, the supplementary Revenue and Capital return columns have been prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies. All Revenue and Capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has only one class of business and derives its income from investments made in shares and securities and from bank and money market funds. The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. Statement of Changes in Equity The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. The statements were approved by the Directors and authorised for issue on 10 May 2017 and are signed on their behalf by David Livesley Chairman The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. Notes to the Financial Statements The financial statements have been prepared under Financial Reporting Standard 102 - 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland' ('FRS 102').  The accounting policies have not materially changed from last year. Basis of Preparation The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention, except for the measurement at fair value of certain financial instruments, and in accordance with UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice ("GAAP"), including FRS 102 and with the Companies Act 2006 and the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts (revised 2014)' issued by the AIC. The principal accounting policies have remained materially unchanged from those set out in the Company's 2016 Annual Report and financial statements. A summary of the principal accounting policies is set out below. FRS 102 sections 11 and 12 have been adopted with regard to the Company's financial instruments. The Company held all fixed asset investments at fair value through profit or loss. Accordingly, all interest income, fee income, expenses and gains and losses on investments are attributable to assets held at fair value through profit or loss. The most important policies affecting the Company's financial position are those related to investment valuation and require the application of subjective and complex judgements, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain and may change in subsequent periods. These are discussed in more detail below. Going Concern After reviewing the Company's forecasts and expectations, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. The Company therefore continues to adopt the going concern basis in preparing its financial statements. Key Judgements and Estimates The preparation of the financial statements requires the Board to make judgements and estimates regarding the application of policies and affecting the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Estimates and assumptions mainly relate to the fair valuation of the fixed asset investments particularly unquoted investments. Estimates are based on historical experience and other assumptions that are considered reasonable under the circumstances. The estimates and the assumptions are under continuous review with particular attention paid to the carrying value of the investments. Investments are regularly reviewed to ensure that the fair values are appropriately stated. Unquoted investments are valued in accordance with current International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation (IPEV) guidelines, which can be found on their website at www.privateequityvaluation.com, although this does rely on subjective estimates such as appropriate sector earnings multiples, forecast results of investee companies, asset values of investee companies and liquidity or marketability of the investments held. Although the Directors believe that the assumptions concerning the business environment and estimate of future cash flows are appropriate, changes in estimates and assumptions could result in changes in the stated values. This could lead to additional changes in fair value in the future. Functional and Presentational Currency The financial statements are presented in Sterling (£). The functional currency is also Sterling (£). Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and cash equivalents includes cash in hand, deposits held at call with banks, other short-term highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less and also include bank overdrafts. Fixed Asset Investments The Company's principal financial assets are its investments and the policies in relation to those assets are set out below. Purchases and sales of investments are recognised in the financial statements at the date of the transaction (trade date). These investments will be managed and their performance evaluated on a fair value basis and information about them is provided internally on that basis to the Board.  Accordingly, as permitted by FRS 102, the investments are measured as being fair value through profit or loss on the basis that they qualify as a group of assets managed, and whose performance is evaluated, on a fair value basis in accordance with a documented investment strategy.  The Company's investments are measured at subsequent reporting dates at fair value. In the case of investments quoted on a recognised stock exchange, fair value is established by reference to the closing bid price on the relevant date or the last traded price, depending upon convention of the exchange on which the investment is quoted. In the case of AIM quoted investments this is the closing bid price. In the case of unquoted investments, fair value is established by using measures of value such as the price of recent transactions, earnings multiple, revenue multiple, discounted cash flows and net assets.  These are consistent with the IPEV guidelines. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value of investments are recognised as part of the capital return within the Income Statement and allocated to the unrealised capital reserve. In the preparation of the valuations of assets the Directors are required to make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and incorporate their knowledge of the performance of the investee companies. Fair Value Hierarchy Paragraph 34.22 of FRS 102 regarding financial instruments that are measured in the balance sheet at fair value requires disclosure of fair value measurements dependent on whether the stock is quoted and the level of the accuracy in the ability to determine its fair value. The fair value measurement hierarchy is as follows: For Quoted Investments: Level a: quoted prices in active markets for an identical asset. The fair value of financial instruments traded in active markets is based on quoted market prices at the balance sheet date. A market is regarded as active if quoted prices are readily and regularly available, and those prices represent actual and regularly occurring market transactions on an arm's length basis. The quoted market price used for financial assets held is the bid price at the Balance Sheet date. Level b: where quoted prices are not available (or where a stock is normally quoted on a recognised stock exchange that no quoted price is available), the price of a recent transaction for an identical asset, providing there has been no significant change in economic circumstances or a significant lapse in time since the transaction took place. The Company holds no such investments in the current or prior year. For investments not quoted in an active market: Level c: the fair value of financial instruments that are not traded in an active market is determined by using valuation techniques. These valuation techniques maximise the use of observable data (e.g. the price of recent transactions, earnings multiple, discounted cash flows and/or net assets) where it is available and rely as little as possible on entity specific estimates.  If all significant inputs required to fair value an instrument are observable, the instrument is included in level c (i). If one or more of the significant inputs is not based on observable market data, the instrument is included in level c (ii). There have been no transfers between these classifications in the year (2016: Castleton Technology (AIM listed) bought Impact Applications (unquoted)). The change in fair value for the current and previous year is recognised in the income statement. Income Investment income includes interest earned on bank balances and from unquoted loan note securities, and dividends.  Fixed returns on debt are recognised on a time apportionment basis so as to reflect the effective yield, provided it is probable that payment will be received in due course.  Dividend income from investments is recognised when the shareholders' rights to receive payment have been established, normally the ex dividend date. Expenses All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis.  Expenses are charged wholly to revenue with the exception of the investment management fee which has been charged 75% to capital and 25% to revenue.  Any applicable performance fee will be charged 100% to capital. Revenue and Capital The revenue column of the Income Statement includes all income and revenue expenses of the Company.  The capital column includes gains and losses on disposal and holding gains and losses on investments.  Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value of investments are recognised as part of the capital return within the Income Statement and allocated to the appropriate capital reserve on the basis of whether they are realised or unrealised at the balance sheet date. Taxation Current tax is recognised for the amount of income tax payable in respect of the taxable profit for the current or past reporting periods using the current tax rate. The tax effect of different items of income/gain and expenditure/loss is allocated between Capital and Revenue return on the "marginal" basis as recommended in the SORP. Deferred tax is recognised on an undiscounted basis in respect of all timing differences that have originated but not reversed at the balance sheet date, except as otherwise indicated. Deferred tax assets are only recognised to the extent that it is probable that they will be recovered against the reversal of deferred tax liabilities or other future taxable profits. Financial instruments The Company's principal financial assets are its investments and the policies in relation to those assets are set out above.  Financial liabilities and equity instruments are classified according to the substance of the contractual arrangements entered into. An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all of its financial liabilities. Where the contractual terms of share capital do not have any terms meeting the definition of a financial liability then this is classed as an equity instrument. The Company does not have any externally imposed capital requirements. Reserves Called up Equity Share Capital - represents the nominal value of shares that have been issued. Share Premium Account - includes any premiums received on issue of share capital. Any transaction costs associated with the issuing of shares are deducted from Share Premium Account. Unrealised Capital Reserve arises when the Company revalues the investments still held during the period and any gains or losses arising are credited/charged to the Unrealised Capital Reserve.  When an investment is sold, any balance held on the Unrealised Capital Reserve is transferred to the Profit and Loss Reserve as a movement in reserves. The Profit and Loss Reserve represents the aggregate of accumulated realised profits, less losses and dividends. Dividends payable are recognised as distributions in the financial statements when the Company's liability to make payment has been established.  This liability is established for interim dividends when they are declared by the Board, and for final dividends when they are approved by the Shareholders. Expenses are charged wholly to revenue with the exception of the investment management fee which has been charged 75% to capital in line with industry practice. In the year to 28 February 2017 the manager received a fee of 1% of the net asset value as at the previous year end (2016: 1%). Oxford Technology Management is also entitled to certain monitoring fees from investee companies and the Board reviews the amounts. Oxford Technology Management had previously agreed to defer 25% of the 2% management fee to which it was contractually entitled (i.e. 0.5% of net assets) until such a time when the finances of the Company made this payment more affordable.  As part of the revised agreement with effect from 1 March 2015 the Board have agreed to pay the deferred balance over a 36 month period. A performance fee is payable to the Investment Manager once original shareholders have received a specified threshold in cash for each 100p (gross) invested.  The original threshold of 100p has been increased by compounding that portion that remains to be paid to shareholders by 6% per annum with effect from 1 March 2015, resulting in the remaining required threshold rising to 71.7p at 28 February 2017, corresponding to a total shareholder return of 108.7p after taking into account the 37p already paid out (37p + 71.7p = 108.7p). After this amount has been distributed to shareholders, each extra 100p distributed goes 80p to the shareholders and 20p to the beneficiaries of the performance incentive fee, of which Oxford Technology Management receives 15p. No performance fee has become due or been paid to date.  Any applicable performance fee will be charged 100% to capital. Expenses are capped at 3%, including the management fee but excluding Directors' fees and any performance fee. All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis.  All expenses are charged through the income statement except as follows: Corporation tax payable at 20% (2016: 20%) is applied to profits chargeable to corporation tax, if any.  The corporation tax charge for the period was £nil (2016: £nil) Unrelieved management expenses of £2,023,217 (2016: £1,891,985) remain available for offset against future taxable profits. The calculation of earnings per share (basic and diluted) for the period is based on the net loss of £1,718,000 (2016: profit of £2,366,000) attributable to shareholders divided by the weighted average number of shares 11,516,946 (2016: 11,516,946) in issue during the period. There are no potentially dilutive capital instruments in issue and, therefore, no diluted returns per share figures are relevant.  The basic and diluted earnings per share are therefore identical. Subsidiary Company The Company also holds 100% of the issued share capital of OT4 Managers Ltd at a cost of £1. Results of the subsidiary undertaking for the year ended 28 February 2017 are as follows: Consolidated group financial statements have not been prepared as the subsidiary undertaking is not considered to be material for the purpose of giving a true and fair view.  The Financial Statements therefore present only the results of Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc, which the Directors also consider is the most useful presentation for Shareholders. 9. Creditors - amounts falling due in less than 1 year Creditors - amounts falling due in more than 1 year The Investment Manager has previously deferred 25% of fees, as detailed in Note 3.  These are now being paid between March 2015 and February 2018. When the Company revalues its investments during the period, any gains or losses arising are credited/charged to the Income Statement.  Changes in fair value of investments are then transferred to the Unrealised Capital Reserve.  When an investment is sold any balance held on the Unrealised Capital Reserve is transferred to the Profit and Loss Account Reserve as a movement in reserves. The transfer between the Unrealised Capital Reserve and the Profit and Loss Reserve in 2016 was the result of the correction of historic misclassifications between the two reserves.  The historic misclassifications were immaterial as they had no impact on reported returns or net assets and had no bearing on any distributions. The Company paid two dividends in 2016. 10p per Ordinary share was paid on 7 August 2015 and a further 10p per Ordinary share was paid on 19 February 2016. The Company's financial instruments comprise equity and loan note investments, cash balances and debtors and creditors.  The Company holds financial assets in accordance with its investment policy of investing mainly in a portfolio of VCT - qualifying quoted and unquoted securities whilst holding a proportion of its assets in cash or near cash investments in order to provide a reserve of liquidity.  The risk faced by these instruments, such as interest rate risk or liquidity risk is considered to be minimal due to their nature.  All of these are carried in the accounts at fair value. The Company's strategy for managing investment risk is determined with regard to the Company's investment objective.  The management of market risk is part of the investment management process and is a central feature of venture capital investment.  The Company's portfolio is managed with regard to the possible effects of adverse price movements and with the objective of maximising overall returns to shareholders.   Investments in unquoted companies, by their nature, usually involve a higher degree of risk than investments in companies quoted on a recognised stock exchange, though the risk can be mitigated to a certain extent by diversifying the portfolio across business sectors and asset classes.  The overall disposition of the Company's assets is regularly monitored by the Board. The company had no commitments at 28 February 2017 or 29 February 2016. OT4 Managers Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides investment management services to the Company with effect from 1 July 2015 for a fee of 1% of net assets per annum.  During the year, £76,934 was paid in respect of these fees (2016: £50,871).  No amounts were outstanding at the year end. During March 2017, a further investment of £40,000 was made into ZuvaSyntha and in April 2017 a further investment of £50,000 was made into Plasma Antennas. Company Number: 5038854 Note to the announcement: The financial information set out in this announcement does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in the Companies Act 2006 ("the Act").  The balance sheet as at 28 February 2017, income statement and cash flow statement for the period then ended have been extracted from the Company's 2017 statutory financial statements upon which the auditor's opinion is unqualified and does not include any statement under the section 495 of the Act. The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2017 will be filed with the Registrar of Companies. Copies of the documents will be submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and are available for inspection at: http://www.mornningstar.co.uk/uk/NNSM


"Owing to the limitation and shortcomings of the conventional molecular display technologies, medical research organizations are now shifting towards new age display less' technologies, capable of isolating antibodies up to subnanomolar affinities." - Analyst, Persistence Market Research A sample of this report is available upon request @ http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/samples/11155 Phage display to remain as the predominant antibody library technology in 2017 and beyond. Moreover, constant technological advancement is expected to support its widespread adoption in the medium term. Phage display was the first in vitro technology developed for antibody selection and is extensively used by scientists all over the world. In 2016, sales revenue of phage display technology reached US$ 68.0 Million and is likely increase at 5% CAGR over 2024. Based on application, antibody library technologies are primarily used in drug discovery programs. Nearly US$ 81.3 Million worth antibody library technologies were purchased for drug development purposes in 2016. Meanwhile, biopharmaceutical companies remain the major end users of such technologies and are expected to create an incremental opportunity of US$ 44.Mn between 2016 and 2026 for the market. Amongst all the key regions, the antibody library technologies market in North America accounted for a massive revenue share of 57.5% in 2015. This is primarily due to the favorable government initiatives for development of cost-effective monoclonal antibodies in the US, which is driving the demand for antibody library technologies in the region. North America will continue to be most lucrative market over the forecast period followed by Europe and APAC. Some of the leading companies profiled in the PMR report include MorphoSys AG, Dyax Corp., Abzena Plc., XOMA Corporation, AvantGen Inc., Creative-Biolabs, AbCheck s.r.o., Philogen S.p.A, Adimab LLC, Invenra Inc. AnaptysBio, Inc., Abwiz Bio Inc., Abgent Inc., Vaccinex Inc., and AxioMx Inc. Collaborations and cross-licensing have been key market strategies for many of these companies having operations across the globe. Antibody Library Technologies Market Report 2016-2024 is available for $4900 (Single User License) @ http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/checkout/11155 Persistence Market Research (PMR) is a third-platform research firm. Our research model is a unique collaboration of data analytics and market research methodology to help businesses achieve optimal performance. To support companies in overcoming complex business challenges, we follow a multi-disciplinary approach. At PMR, we unite various data streams from multi-dimensional sources. By deploying real-time data collection, big data, and customer experience analytics, we deliver business intelligence for organizations of all sizes.


"Owing to the limitation and shortcomings of the conventional molecular display technologies, medical research organizations are now shifting towards new age display less' technologies, capable of isolating antibodies up to subnanomolar affinities." - Analyst, Persistence Market Research A sample of this report is available upon request @ http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/samples/11155 Phage display to remain as the predominant antibody library technology in 2017 and beyond. Moreover, constant technological advancement is expected to support its widespread adoption in the medium term. Phage display was the first in vitro technology developed for antibody selection and is extensively used by scientists all over the world. In 2016, sales revenue of phage display technology reached US$ 68.0 Million and is likely increase at 5% CAGR over 2024. Based on application, antibody library technologies are primarily used in drug discovery programs. Nearly US$ 81.3 Million worth antibody library technologies were purchased for drug development purposes in 2016. Meanwhile, biopharmaceutical companies remain the major end users of such technologies and are expected to create an incremental opportunity of US$ 44.Mn between 2016 and 2026 for the market. Amongst all the key regions, the antibody library technologies market in North America accounted for a massive revenue share of 57.5% in 2015. This is primarily due to the favorable government initiatives for development of cost-effective monoclonal antibodies in the US, which is driving the demand for antibody library technologies in the region. North America will continue to be most lucrative market over the forecast period followed by Europe and APAC. Some of the leading companies profiled in the PMR report include MorphoSys AG, Dyax Corp., Abzena Plc., XOMA Corporation, AvantGen Inc., Creative-Biolabs, AbCheck s.r.o., Philogen S.p.A, Adimab LLC, Invenra Inc. AnaptysBio, Inc., Abwiz Bio Inc., Abgent Inc., Vaccinex Inc., and AxioMx Inc. Collaborations and cross-licensing have been key market strategies for many of these companies having operations across the globe. Antibody Library Technologies Market Report 2016-2024 is available for $4900 (Single User License) @ http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/checkout/11155 Persistence Market Research (PMR) is a third-platform research firm. Our research model is a unique collaboration of data analytics and market research methodology to help businesses achieve optimal performance. To support companies in overcoming complex business challenges, we follow a multi-disciplinary approach. At PMR, we unite various data streams from multi-dimensional sources. By deploying real-time data collection, big data, and customer experience analytics, we deliver business intelligence for organizations of all sizes.


CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abzena plc (AIM: ABZA, ‘Abzena’ or the ‘Group’), a life sciences group providing services and technologies enabling the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, has published its full year results for the year to 31 March 2017. “The past 12 months have been a combination of integration and preparing the Group for significant growth. “Integration of our US sites into the Abzena Group is starting to deliver the expected revenue synergies. We are increasingly seeing our partners utilise our services on a repeat basis and engage with the range of services across the domains of biology, chemistry and manufacturing. The business now has a solid platform from which to expand. “The recent fund raising from current and new investors gives us the means to establish the capacity to meet the increasing demand for our integrated services and will accelerate our progress towards profitability.” For the full release, please visit the company website at www.abzena.com Abzena (AIM: ABZA) provides proprietary technologies and complementary services to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products. The term ‘ABZENA Inside’ is used by Abzena to describe products that have been created using its proprietary technologies and are being developed by its partners, and include Composite Human Antibodies™ and ThioBridge™ Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Abzena has the potential to earn future licence fees, milestone payments and/or royalties on ‘ABZENA Inside’ products. Abzena offers the following services and technologies across its principal sites in Cambridge (UK), San Diego, California (USA) and Bristol, Pennsylvania (USA): For more information, please see www.abzena.com


News Article | July 11, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CAMBRIDGE, England & TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abzena plc (AIM: ABZA, ‘Abzena’ or the ‘Group’), the life sciences group providing services and technologies to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, has signed a licensing agreement and a master services and clinical supply agreement with OBI Pharma, a Taiwanese biopharmaceutical company (‘OBI’, TPEx: 4174). The licensing agreement is for Abzena’s novel site-specific ThioBridge™ antibody drug conjugate (ADC) linker technology to develop OBI’s proprietary ADC, OBI-999 and a series of further ADCs as potential treatments for cancer. ThioBridge™ links antibodies and other proteins to drugs. The technology platform is unique in its ability to maintain the stability of the antibody and a consistent Drug-to-Antibody Ratio (DAR), which provides a more uniform product. OBI-999 specifically targets cancer cells overexpressing the cancer antigen Globo H. The Globo series comprises a group of cancer-associated carbohydrate antigens including Globo H, SSEA3 and SSEA4 that are over-expressed in more than 14 types of cancers, including breast, lung, gastric and colorectal. By releasing the cytotoxic payload to the targeted cancer cells, the aim is to trigger cancer apoptosis while minimising the drug’s toxicities to normal cells. OBI has observed encouraging results for OBI-999 in preclinical studies and plans to accelerate the development of OBI-999 and other Globo series ADCs. Phase I IND preparations are underway including Chemistry Manufacturing Control (CMC) planning and toxicology study design. Concurrent with the signing of the licence agreement, Abzena and OBI have entered into a Master Services and Clinical Supply Agreement for Abzena to provide OBI with further manufacturing process development and GMP manufacture of OBI-999 and further ADCs. Under the terms of this agreement, OBI will receive a worldwide exclusive licence to use the ThioBridge technology to research, develop and commercialize ADCs targeting the Globo series. Abzena will receive a small initial up-front payment from OBI and has the potential, subject to successful development, to receive up to £128 million, in aggregate, which may become payable upon achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones. In addition, Abzena will also receive royalties on sales of any approved ADC products that incorporate the ThioBridge™ technology. Amy Huang, General Manager of OBI Pharma, Inc., said: “OBI is pleased to collaborate with Abzena for our OBI-999 and other potential pipeline candidates using Abzena’s innovative ThioBridge technology. The collaboration enhances our ADC development programme and we hope to develop effective cancer treatments for patients with cancers that express Globo series antigens.” “This latest licence deal follows on from a successful evaluation programme of the ThioBridge™ technology for OBI by Abzena. “The overall ADC development programme for OBI draws on Abzena’s chemistry research and manufacturing capabilities across the Cambridge (UK) and Bristol (Pennsylvania) facilities, and reaffirms the value of Abzena’s integrated offering. “The expansion of our offering to include GMP manufacturing for ADCs has been enabled by our recent fundraising and this deal is a good example of our ability to continue to support our partners with our broader chemistry research services, process development and manufacturing capabilities.” Abzena (AIM: ABZA) provides proprietary technologies and complementary services to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products. The term ‘ABZENA Inside’ is used by Abzena to describe products that have been created using its proprietary technologies and are being developed by its partners, and include Composite Human Antibodies™ and ThioBridge™ Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Abzena has the potential to earn future licence fees, milestone payments and/or royalties on ‘ABZENA Inside’ products. Abzena offers the following services and technologies across its principal sites in Cambridge (UK), San Diego, California (USA) and Bristol, Pennsylvania (USA): For more information, please see www.abzena.com OBI Pharma, Inc. is a Taiwan biopharmaceutical company that was established in 2002. Its mission is to develop and license novel therapeutic agents for unmet medical needs, including cancer targets such as the Globo series antigens, AKR1C3 and other promising targets. The company’s flagship product is Adagloxad Simolenin (formerly OBI-822), a first-in-class active immunotherapy for metastatic breast cancer. OBI is also developing next generation immunotherapies for difficult to treat cancers, including lung, colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and ovarian cancer. Additional information can be found at www.obipharma.com/en.


CAMBRIDGE, England & MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abzena plc (AIM: ABZA, ‘Abzena’), the life sciences group providing services and technologies to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, has signed a licence agreement with Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (‘Telix’), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialisation of radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic (imaging) and therapeutic use (the “Agreement”). Under the terms of the Agreement, Abzena has granted Telix an exclusive worldwide, royalty bearing, sub-licensable licence to its prostate-specific membrane antigen (‘PSMA’) antibodies in the field of radio-immunoconjugation. The PSMA antibodies were created using Abzena’s Composite Human Antibody™ technology. The Agreement has the potential, subject to successful development, to deliver in excess of US$65 million in licence fees and milestone payments to Abzena over its life, based on achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, in addition to royalties on net sales of approved products. The parties have also implemented a separate services agreement to develop these products further. A radio-immunoconjugate is created by attaching a radioactive isotope to a biological targeting entity e.g. a monoclonal antibody. The benefit of such a combination is that a radioactive substance can be carried directly to a cancer cell with a high degree of specificity and selectivity. The mechanism of action includes a combination of DNA damage to tumour cells and an immune-stimulating antigen release as the tumour micro-environment is remodelled. The Abzena antibodies subject to the Agreement are prostate cancer-specific, therefore, depending on the type of radioactivity Telix attaches to the product, the resulting radio-immunoconjugate can either be used to image where cancerous cells are in the prostate or to kill the cancer with great precision, minimising the radiation exposure to healthy tissue. Monoclonal antibodies remain one of the most versatile platforms for the design of targeted radiopharmaceuticals. This is due to their high in-vivo stability, prolonged circulation time in blood and comparative ease of chemical functionalisation, along with a high antigen specificity and affinity. “Radio-immunoconjugates have tremendous potential as one of the most adaptable site specific, precision medicines and, in prostate cancer, PSMA is increasingly recognised as an important target. “This deal with Abzena significantly reinforces Telix’s development focus in prostate cancer. Our approach to delivering molecularly-targeted radiation not only represents the next frontier for radiation oncology therapy, but also has an important nexus with the rapidly developing field of cancer immunotherapy. Our mission is to build on existing clinical experience with PSMA antibody-directed radiation to create a product that can be manufactured effectively and with an optimised efficacy profile. “We chose to work with Abzena because of its proven expertise in antibody engineering and conjugation, a track record which is reflected by the fact that there are 12 antibody drugs in the clinic that harness Abzena’s technology”. “We believe our expertise and integrated offering in biology, chemistry and biomanufacturing bring important capabilities to Telix, as it develops its exciting portfolio of next generation oncology radiopharmaceutical products. “This agreement with Telix represents a further example of Abzena licensing its proprietary technology to a partner, while the concurrent entry into a new services agreement with Telix for further development work reaffirms the validity of our combined services and technology licensing business model.” PSMA is a cell surface antigen that has relatively little normal expression in normal tissues and represents a validated and highly promising target for a range of therapeutic strategies, especially radiopharmaceuticals. PSMA expression has been detected in a limited range of normal tissues including benign prostatic epithelium, renal proximal tubule, pancreas, small bowel and brain (a subset of astrocytes). However, these normal sites express PSMA at levels 2–3 orders of magnitude lower than that observed in prostate cancer1 Antibody-directed cytotoxicity (whether from conjugated radiation or other therapeutic payloads) offers several advantages over small molecule or peptide-based delivery approaches. Normal tissue PSMA sites are effectively inaccessible to circulating mAbs (monoclonal antibodies) and PSMA expression by astrocytes in the brain is similarly sequestered behind the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, antibodies to PSMA are functionally tumour-specific, whereas small molecule and peptide therapies targeting PSMA, with various isotopes, have demonstrated serious off-target effects, such as pancreatitis, nephrotoxicity and permanent salivary gland ablation. These considerations are particularly important for developing PSMA-targeting agents with high-energy nuclides such as alpha-particle emitters. Abzena (AIM: ABZA) provides proprietary technologies and complementary services to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products. The term ‘Abzena Inside’ is used by Abzena to describe products that have been created using its proprietary technologies and are being developed by its partners, and include Composite Human Antibodies™ and ThioBridge™ Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Abzena has the potential to earn future licence fees, milestone payments and/or royalties on ‘Abzena Inside’ products. Abzena offers the following services and technologies across its principal sites in Cambridge (UK), San Diego, California (USA) and Bristol, Pennsylvania (USA): • Cell line development for the manufacture of recombinant proteins and antibodies; • Contract process development and GMP manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins for preclinical and clinical studies; • Contract synthetic chemistry and bioconjugation research services, focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs); and • Proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies and novel payloads for ADC development; and GMP manufacturer of ADC linkers, payloads & combined linker-payloads. For more information, please see www.abzena.com Telix is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Telix is developing an advanced portfolio of clinical-stage products that address significant unmet medical needs in renal, prostate and brain (glioblastoma) cancers. Telix’s pipeline consists of “theranostic” radiopharmaceuticals, agents that can be used both diagnostically (via PET imaging) and therapeutically for patient benefit. Telix is an unlisted public company. For more information go to www.telixpharma.com.


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

Half-yearly report For the six months ended 31 August 2016 I have pleasure in presenting the half year report for ProVen Growth and Income VCT plc (the "Company") for the six months ended 31 August 2016. At 31 August 2016, the net asset value ("NAV") per share was 80.2p, an increase of 4.2p per share since the year end (after adjusting for the dividend of 4.0p per share paid during the period). During the six months to 31 August 2016, a total of £2.8 million was invested. This included £1.5 million into two new investments, Thread and POQ Studio, and £1.3 million into existing portfolio companies to support their continued growth and development. After the period end a total of £1.2 million was invested into two new companies, ContactEngine and Honeycomb.TV. In July 2016 the Company realised its investment in Big Data Partnership, generating a gain of £1.1 million. In addition, loan note repayments of £3.7 million were received during the period, which included full repayment of the loans with Linkdex, Peerius and SE Pharma. Shortly after the period end, the Company realised its investment in MyOptique, generating a gain of £2.7 million. The venture capital investment portfolio showed a net unrealised gain of £3.7 million over the six month period. Further detail on investment activity is provided in the Investment Manager's Report. The total return on ordinary activities after taxation for the six month period to 31 August 2016 was £3.7 million, comprising a revenue profit of £0.2 million and a capital profit of £3.5 million. During the six month period, a final dividend of 4.0p per share in respect of the year ended 29 February 2016 was paid on 15 July 2016 following shareholder approval at the Company's AGM. The Board has today declared an interim dividend of 2.0p per share which will be paid on 16 December 2016 to Shareholders on the register at 18 November 2016. Shareholders are reminded that the Company operates a Dividend Reinvestment Scheme ("DRIS") for shareholders that wish to have their dividends reinvested in new shares and obtain further income tax relief on those shares. If you are not currently registered for the DRIS and wish to have your dividends paid in the form of new shares, DRIS forms are available from the www.provenvcts.co.uk website or by contacting Beringea on 020 7845 7820. Shareholders will need to be registered for the DRIS prior to 18 November 2016 to be eligible to receive the forthcoming dividend as new shares. During the period, the Company allotted 519,805 shares at 78.3p per share under the Company's DRIS in respect of the dividend paid on 15 July 2016. Shortly after the period end, on 21 September 2016, the Company launched an offer for subscription to raise up to £30 million, with an over allotment facility of up to a further £10 million. The Company continues to operate a policy of purchasing its own shares as they become available in the market at a discount of approximately 5% to the latest published NAV. During the period, the Company completed purchases of 916,309 shares at an average price of 74.7p per share and for aggregate consideration (net of costs) of £684,877. This represented 1.0% of the shares in issue at the start of the period. The shares were subsequently cancelled. The further changes to the VCT rules announced in March 2016, primarily around permitted non-qualifying investments from 6 April 2016, have now received Royal Assent. This places further restrictions on investments a VCT can make. The significant changes to the VCT regulations since November 2015 have affected the Company less than many other VCTs, as its investment strategy was already broadly aligned with the new rules. Undoubtedly the biggest economic and political event during the period was the UK electorate's decision to leave the EU on 23 June 2016. At the time of writing, there is significant uncertainty over the manner and form of the withdrawal although latest indications are that the formal process will be started in early 2017. We cannot predict how this will play out across the current and, indeed, future portfolio. In general terms, however, the portfolio has been relatively unaffected since the vote: some companies with large foreign imports and exports have been impacted by exchange rate movements but this has always been a challenge for such businesses. Moreover, as the Investment Manager quite rightly points out, the nature of smaller companies is that they are less dependent on the wider economy to grow than larger companies and so wider economic events should not necessarily impact the portfolio proportionately. It is reassuring that there has been notable investment and disposal activity since the Referendum, reflected in the investments in POQ Studio, ContactEngine and Honeycomb.TV and the realisations of Big Data Partnership, MyOptique, Peerius and Linkdex. Good progress also continues to be made at a number of companies across the portfolio. The Investment Manager has recently hired three new investment executives to help manage the strong dealflow it is experiencing and to work with portfolio companies. All things considered, I remain confident about the prospects for the Company. We have pleasure in presenting our half year report for ProVen Growth and Income VCT plc (the "Company") for the six month period to 31 August 2016. At 31 August 2016, the Company's investment portfolio comprised 42 investments, of which 40 were unquoted, at a cost of £55.8 million and a valuation of £62.2 million. This represents an overall unrealised uplift on cost of £6.4 million or 11.5%. During the period, the Company invested a further £2.8 million, comprising £1.5 million into two new companies and £1.3 million into four existing portfolio companies. The new investment into Thread (£620,000), a menswear e-commerce site which recommends styles and items based on an individual's tastes and preferences, was completed shortly after the year end and discussed in the previous full year report. In June, the Company completed an investment of £875,000 into POQ Studio, a platform provider for mobile ecommerce apps used by major fashion retailers. The follow-on investments were made into Disposable Cubicle Curtains (£461,000), InContext Solutions (£400,000), Big Data Partnership (£253,000) and Network Locum (£169,000). The investment in Network Locum in August was part of a £5m funding round to support the rapid growth of the business, including the expansion of the sales team. The Company generated realisation proceeds of £7.3 million. During the period, the Company's loan portfolio was reduced following the full repayment of the loans with SE Pharma (£2.1 million), Linkdex (£1.2 million) and Peerius (£276,000) following realisation events at these companies. In addition, the Company's investment in Big Data Partnership was sold to US listed technology company Teradata in July 2016 generating proceeds of £3.4m, a multiple of 1.5x cost. Overall, the venture capital investment portfolio showed an uplift of £3.7 million, equivalent to 4.1p per share over the period. There were uplifts in value for, amongst others, MyOptique, Third Bridge and Simplestream. A summary of the top 20 venture capital investments, by value, is provided in the Summary of Investment Portfolio. In September 2016, the Company's investment in MyOptique was acquired by the leading French eyewear company Essilor for proceeds of £6.3 million. The uplift in valuation since the start of the year is reflected within the fair value of MyOptique as at 31 August 2016 and the disposal represented a realised gain above cost of £2.7 million. The Company made two new investments in September 2016: £550,000 into ContactEngine, a software provider that automates its clients' customer communication, and £605,000 into Honeycomb.TV, a TV and video advertising management platform. Despite the changes in VCT regulations, which have narrowed the range of potential investment opportunities for VCTs, and general increased competition across the venture capital market, we continue to experience a healthy flow of new investment opportunities for consideration. We have recently expanded our investment team with three new hires to ensure we can effectively manage and execute this dealflow. The UK electorate's decision to leave the EU in the June Referendum has had limited effect to date although we expect the consequences of this decision to play out over years, rather than months. The businesses in which we invest, however, are constantly adapting to new challenges and their relative small size makes them adaptable in ways that larger companies are not. Additionally, as we have outlined in the past, smaller companies are generally less dependent on the wider economy for growth and can, with the right products and management team, prosper across the economic cycle. This confidence is supported by the investment activity, both acquisitions and disposals, during the period under review and notably since the Referendum decision. We therefore enter the second half of the financial year with optimism for the investment portfolio as a whole. Other venture capital investments at 31 August 2016 comprise: 7Digital Group plc, Abzena plc, Amura Holdings Limited, Celoxica Limited, Chargemaster plc, Charterhouse Leisure Limited, Conversity Limited, Deltadot Limited, Dianomi Limited, Duncannon Holdings Limited, Fossgate Limited, Monica Vinader Limited, Network Locum Limited, Perfect Channel Limited, Poq Studio Limited, Omni Dental Sciences Limited, Senselogix Limited, Skills Matter Limited, Steribottle Global Limited, Thread Inc., Utility Exchange Online Limited and Vigilant Applications Limited. With the exception of 7Digital Group plc and Abzena plc which are quoted on AIM, all venture capital investments are unquoted. All of the above investments, with the exception of Abzena plc, Amura Holdings Limited, Deltadot Limited, Dryden Holdings Limited, Duncannon Holdings Limited, Fossgate Limited and Omni Dental Sciences Limited, were also held by ProVen VCT plc, of which Beringea LLP is the investment manager. Blis Media Limited is also held by ProVen Planned Exit VCT plc, of which Beringea LLP was the investment manager until 31 March 2016 when ProVen Planned Exit VCT plc was placed into Members Voluntary Liquidation. The liquidator has agreed that Beringea LLP will continue to manage the investment in Blis Media Limited on behalf of ProVen Planned Exit VCT plc until it is sold. All venture capital investments are registered in England and Wales except for Thread Inc. and InContext Solutions which are Delaware registered corporations in the United States of America and Fossgate Limited which is registered in the Cayman Islands. for the six months ended 31 August 2016 Investment activity during the six months ended 31 August 2016 is summarised as follows: * Adjusted for purchases during the period Of the investments above, Eagle-i Music Limited was realised in the prior period but received proceeds in the current period in excess of the amount previously accrued. for the six months ended 31 August 2016 All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The total column within this statement represents the Unaudited Condensed Income Statement of the Company. The Company has no recognised gains or losses other than the results for the six month period as set out above. The accompanying notes form an integral part of this announcement. Unaudited Condensed Statement of Financial Position as at 31 August 2016 The accompanying notes form an integral part of this announcement. Unaudited Condensed Statement of Changes in Equity The special reserve, capital reserve - realised and revenue reserve are distributable reserves. The distributable reserves are reduced by losses of £3,145,000 (2015: £3,145,000) which are included in the revaluation reserve. Reserves available for distribution therefore amount to £33,268,000 (2015: £37,162,000). The accompanying notes form an integral part of this announcement. Unaudited Condensed Statement of Cash Flows for the six months ended 31 August 2016 The accompanying notes form an integral part of this announcement. for the six months ended 31 August 2016 The Company has prepared its financial statements under Financial Reporting Standard 102 ("FRS102") and in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts' (the "SORP"), which was revised in November 2014 by the Association of Investment Companies. The following accounting policies have been applied consistently throughout the period. Further details of principal accounting policies were disclosed in the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 29 February 2016. In accordance with the SORP, supplementary information which analyses the Income Statement between items of a revenue and capital nature has been presented alongside the Income Statement. The net revenue return attributable to equity shareholders is the measure the Directors believe appropriate in assessing the Company's compliance with certain requirements set out in S274 of the Income Tax Act 2007. Investments, including equity and loan stock, are designated as "fair value through profit or loss" assets due to investments being managed and performance evaluated on a fair value basis.   A financial asset is designated within this category if it is both acquired and managed, with a view to selling after a period of time, in accordance with the Company's documented investment policy.  The fair value of an investment upon acquisition is deemed to be cost.  Thereafter investments are measured at fair value in accordance with International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines ("IPEVCVG") issued in December 2015, together with FRS102. The valuation methodologies used by the Directors for assessing the fair value of unquoted investments are as follows: ·           investments are usually retained at cost for twelve months following investment, except where a company's performance against plan is significantly below the expectations on which the investment was made in which case a provision against cost is made as appropriate; ·           where a company is in the early stage of development it will normally continue to be held at cost as the best estimate of fair value, reviewed for impairment on the basis described above; ·           where a company is well established after an appropriate period, the investment may be valued by applying a suitable earnings or revenue multiple to that company's maintainable earnings or revenue.  The multiple used is based on comparable listed companies or a sector but discounted to reflect factors such as the different sizes of the comparable businesses, different growth rates and the lack of marketability of unquoted shares; ·           where a value is indicated by a material arms-length transaction by a third party in the shares of the company, the valuation will normally be based on this, reviewed for impairment as appropriate; ·           where alternative methods of valuation, such as net assets of the business or the discounted cash flows arising from the business are more appropriate, then such methods may be used; and ·           where repayment of the equity is not probable, redemption premiums will be recognised. The methodology applied takes account of the nature, facts and circumstances of the individual investment and uses reasonable data, market inputs, assumptions and estimates in order to ascertain fair value.  Methodologies are applied consistently from year to year except where a change results in a better estimate of fair value. Where an investee company has gone into receivership or liquidation, or the loss in value below cost is considered to be permanent, or there is little likelihood of a recovery from a company in administration, the loss on the investment, although not physically disposed of, is treated as being realised. All investee companies are held as part of an investment portfolio and measured at fair value. Therefore, it is not the policy for investee companies to be consolidated and any gains or losses arising from changes in fair value are included in the Unaudited Condensed Income Statement for the period as a capital item. 2.         All revenue and capital items in the Unaudited Condensed Income Statement derive from continuing operations. 3.         There are no other items of comprehensive income other than those disclosed in the Unaudited Condensed Income Statement. 4.         The Company has only one operating segment as reported to the Board of Directors in their capacity as chief operating decision makers and derives its income from investments made in shares, securities and bank deposits. 5.         The comparative figures are in respect of the year ended 29 February 2016 and the six month period ended 31 August 2015. 6.         Basic and diluted return per share for the period has been calculated on 89,732,064 shares, being the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period. 7.         Basic and diluted NAV per share for the period has been calculated on 89,479,641 shares, being the number of shares in issue at the period end. 9.            Contingent liabilities, guarantees and financial commitments                The Company has no contingent liabilities, guarantees or financial commitments at 31 August 2016. Under the terms of the Company's Dividend Reinvestment Scheme, the Company allotted 519,805 shares to subscribing shareholders on 15 July 2016. The aggregate consideration for the shares was £407,007. During the six months to 31 August 2016, the Company repurchased 916,309 shares for an aggregate consideration (net of costs) of £684,877 being an average price of 74.7p per share and which represented 1.0% of the Company's issued share capital at the start of the year. These shares were subsequently cancelled. Costs relating to the share repurchases amounted to £3,430. Investments are valued at fair value as determined using the measurement policies described in note 1. The Company has categorised its financial instruments that are measured subsequent to initial recognition at fair value, using the fair value hierarchy as follows: Level 1           Reflects financial instruments that have been valued based on the unadjusted quoted price in an active market for identical assets. Level 2           Reflects financial instruments that have been valued using valuation techniques with observable inputs. Level 3           Reflects financial instruments that have been valued using valuation techniques with unobservable inputs.  12.   Controlling party and related party transactions         In the opinion of the Directors there is no immediate or ultimate controlling party.                   Malcolm Moss, a Director of the Company, is also a Partner of Beringea LLP. Beringea LLP was the Company's investment manager during the period. During the six months ended 31 August 2016, £725,000 was payable to Beringea LLP in respect of these services. At the period end the Company owed Beringea LLP £365,000.                   From 13 January 2015 Beringea LLP was appointed Administration Manager of the Company. Fees paid to Beringea in its capacity as Administration Manager for the six months ended 31 August 2016 amounted to £25,000 of which £13,000 remained outstanding at the period end.                   As the Company's investment manager, Beringea LLP is also entitled to receive a performance incentive fee based on the Company's performance for each financial year to 28 February. The performance incentive fee arrangements are set out, in detail, in the Annual Report and Accounts. For the year ending 28 February 2017, based on results to 31 August 2016, a performance incentive fee of £897,000 has been accrued. The actual performance incentive fee, if any, will only be payable once the full year results have been finalised. As a result, no performance incentive fee is payable at 31 August 2016.                   Beringea LLP may charge arrangement and exit fees, in line with industry practice, to companies in which it invests. It may also receive directors fees or monitoring fees from investee companies. In the six months period to 31 August 2016, amounts of £33,200 and £224,000 were payable to Beringea LLP for arrangement fees and exit fees respectively under such arrangements. Directors and monitoring fees payable to Beringea LLP in the six month period to 31 August 2016 amounted to £293,000.                   During the six months to 31 August 2016, an amount of £58,000 was payable to the Directors of the Company as remuneration for services. No amount was outstanding at the period end.            13.   The unaudited financial statements set out herein have not been subject to review by the auditor and do not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. They have therefore not been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The figures for the year ended 29 February 2016 have been extracted from the financial statements for that period, which have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies; the Auditor's report on those financial statements was unmodified.     14.   The Directors confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, the half-yearly financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 issued by the Financial Reporting Council and the half-yearly financial report includes a fair review of the information required by:                   a.  DTR 4.2.7R of the Disclosure and Transparency Rules, being an indication of important events that have occurred during the first six months of the financial year and their impact on the condensed set of financial statements, and a description of the principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the year; and                   b.  DTR 4.2.8R of the Disclosure and Transparency Rules, being related party transactions that have taken place in the first six months of the current financial year and that have materially affected the financial position or performance of the entity during that period, and any changes in the related party transactions described in the last annual report that could do so.            15.   Risk and uncertainties         Under the Disclosure and Transparency Directive, the Board is required in the Company's half-yearly results, to report on the principal risks and uncertainties facing the Company over the remainder of the financial year.                   The Board has concluded that the key risks facing the Company over the remainder of the financial year are as follows:         (i)  investment risk associated with investing in small and immature businesses;         (ii) investment risk arising from volatile stock market conditions and their potential effect on the value of the Company's venture capital investments and the exit opportunity for those investments; and         (iii) breach of VCT regulations.                   In the case of (i), the Board is satisfied with the Company's approach. The Investment Manager follows a rigorous process in vetting and careful structuring of new investments and, after an investment is made, close monitoring of the business. In respect of (ii), the Company seeks to hold a diversified portfolio. However, the Company's ability to manage this risk is quite limited, primarily due to the restrictions arising from the VCT regulations.         The Company's compliance with the VCT regulations is continually monitored by the Administration Manager, who reports regularly to the Board on the current position. The Company also retains Philip Hare & Associates LLP to provide regular reviews and advice in this area. The Board considers that this approach reduces the risk of a breach of the VCT regulations to a minimal level.            16.   Going concern         The Directors have reviewed the Company's financial resources at the period end and concluded that the Company is well placed to manage its business risks.         The Board confirms that it is satisfied that the Company has adequate resources to continue in business for the foreseeable future. For this reason, the Board believes that the Company continues to be a going concern and that it is appropriate to apply the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements.                   Copies of the unaudited half yearly results will be sent to shareholders. Further copies can be obtained from the Company's registered office and will be available for download from www.provenvcts.co.uk.            17.   Post balance sheet events         In September 2016, the Company's investment in MyOptique was disposed for proceeds of £6.3 million, representing a realised gain of £2.7 million.                   The Company made two further new investments in September 2016: £550,000 into ContactEngine, a software provider that automates its clients' customer communication, and £605,000 into Honeycomb.TV, a TV and video advertising management platform.


Deehan M.,NovImmune | Garces S.,Gulbenkian Institute of Science | Garces S.,Garcia Of Orta Hospital | Kramer D.,Sanofi S.A. | And 4 more authors.
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2015

All protein drugs (biologicals) have an immunogenic potential and we are armed with multiple guidelines, regulatory documents and white papers to assist us in assessing the level of risk for unwanted immunogenicity of new biologicals. However, for certain biologicals, significant immunogenicity becomes only apparent after their use in patients. Causes of immunogenicity are multifactorial but not yet fully understood. Within the pharmaceutical industry there are only a few opportunities to openly discuss the causes and consequences of immunogenicity with regard to the development of new biologicals. The annual Open Scientific Symposium of the European Immunogenicity Platform (EIP) is one such meeting that brings together scientists and clinicians from academia and industry to build know-how and expertise in the field of immunogenicity. The critical topics discussed at the last EIP meeting (February 2014) will be reviewed here. The current opinion of this expert group is that the assessment of unwanted immunogenicity can be improved by using prediction tools, optimizing the performance of immunogenicity assays and learning from the clinical impact of other biologicals that have already been administered to patients. A multidisciplinary approach is warranted to better understand and minimize drug immunogenicity and its clinical consequences. However, this prediction does not directly translate to the immunogenicity observed in clinical practice. In parallel, such immune-monitoring will provide important information to help us understand the human immune response to biologic therapies. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Novartis, Abzena and a MedImmune Ltd
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: mAbs | Year: 2016

The immunogenicity of clinically administered antibodies has clinical implications for the patients receiving them, ranging from mild consequences, such as increased clearance of the drug from the circulation, to life-threatening effects. The emergence of methods to engineer variable regions resulting in the generation of humanised and fully human antibodies as therapeutics has reduced the potential for adverse immunogenicity. However, due to differences in sequence referred to as allotypic variation, antibody constant regions are not homogeneous within the human population, even within sub-classes of the same immunoglobulin isotype. For therapeutically administered antibodies, the potential exists for an immune response from the patient to the antibody if the allotype of patient and antibody do not match. Allotypic distribution in the human population varies within and across ethnic groups making the choice of allotype for a therapeutic antibody difficult. This study investigated the potential of human IgG1 allotypes to stimulate responses in human CD4(+) T cells from donors matched for homologous and heterologous IgG1 allotypes. Allotypic variants of the therapeutic monoclonal antibody trastuzumab were administered to genetically defined allotypic matched and mismatched donor T cells. No significant responses were observed in the mismatched T cells. To investigate the lack of T-cell responses in relation to mismatched allotypes, HLA-DR agretopes were identified via MHC associated peptide proteomics (MAPPs). As expected, many HLA-DR restricted peptides were presented. However, there were no peptides presented from the sequence regions containing the allotypic variations. Taken together, the results from the T-cell assay and MAPPs assay indicate that the allotypic differences in human IgG1 do not represent a significant risk for induction of immunogenicity.


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