COMMERCIALISATION OF CHEMISTRY
Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford
The Department of Chemistry at Oxford has contributed over £80
million to the University as a result of its spin-out activities. Actual
realized gains from the departmental spin-outs come to more than £40
million, with about £20 million of unrealized gains in quoted
companies, and a further batch of holdings in private companies.
The realized return came from the successes of Oxford Molecular and
Oxford Asymmetry International, both of which had successful initial
public offerings, floating on the London Stock Exchange, and later
sold. In addition a novel partnership with IP Group Plc (formerly Beeson
Gregory) produced £20 million towards financing the new £60
million Chemistry Research Laboratory opened by HM The Queen in 2004.
The IP Group Plc partnership was described by the Financial Times
way universities should be financed in the future’.
In return for an upfront sum the bank receives half of the University
equity in Chemistry spin-outs for 15 years. The equity in spin-outs
is typically held by the founding academics, the University (with half
of the University's share going to IP Group plc), investors and management.
Once the company is created the interests of the bank and the University
are identical, but the Department also benefits from help from IP Group
in preparing business plans and raising funding.
Already in the short history of the deal eleven new companies have
been created: Inhibox; Pharminox; Zyentia; Glycoform; REOX; Vastox
- now Summit plc; Oxford Medical Diagnostics; Oxford Nanolabs;
Oxford Catalysts; Oxford Advanced Surfaces and OxTox. Several of them
have had second round funding, and Vastox and Oxford Catalysts had
successful IPOs on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined
market capitalization of over £100 million.