PKF Francis Clark has advised eXmoor pharma, the Bristol-based cell and gene therapy (CGT) services experts, on an initial investment of £12m ($17m) from specialist healthcare investment firm MVM Partners, to enable their ambitious expansion plans.
The investment will create a new dedicated 50,000 sq ft CGT process development and clinical manufacturing facility in Bristol.
eXmoor has expanded rapidly over the last five years, developing a portfolio of clients across the UK and internationally, completing over 400 projects across 15 countries to date.
In 2017, eXmoor added process development laboratories to its consultancy base, with world leading expertise in viral vector process development. Today, eXmoor’s globally recognised team of scientists, consultants and engineers delivers end-to-end CGT biomanufacturing projects, supporting businesses in commercialising research processes and developing fully licensed facilities.
This deal gives us a strong foundation for our future growth, not just in the UK and Europe but further into other international markets, particularly North America
The investment from MVM marks a key milestone in eXmoor’s international growth strategy. The deal will facilitate expansion plans to create the new, dedicated CGT facility, while staff headcount is projected to increase from 40 to 200 within five years.
Based in Boston and London, MVM focusses on investing in high growth healthcare businesses and will hold a significant minority stake in eXmoor as part of the deal.
Angela Osborne, founder and chief executive officer of eXmoor, said: “MVM has a proven track-record working with healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations globally. This deal gives us a strong foundation for our future growth, not just in the UK and Europe but further into other international markets, particularly North America. CGT is such an important area in biomedical research and one that has the ability to treat, prevent and potentially cure diseases that affect people all over the world.
“The Bristol area is a great place to build on our highly skilled and knowledgeable consultancy and process development teams, attracting talent from the excellent local universities in Bristol, Bath and Cardiff. We have been fortunate to be able to continue and expand our operations at the University of the West of England in the Future Space innovation centre operated by Oxford Innovation, and we would like to thank them for their continued support.”
Thomas Casdagli, partner at MVM, added: “eXmoor is a pioneer in cell and gene therapy manufacturing and has one of the most experienced teams in all elements of translating CGT innovation into scalable and robust manufacturing processes. With this investment eXmoor now has the broadest and most flexible range of CGT services in the market. eXmoor can support its clients from PD, to GMP and commercial stage manufacturing either in a dedicated facility specified and supported by eXmoor or in a facility run by eXmoor. I am thrilled to support the company at this pivotal time and look forward to working with the wider team in the months to come.”
Commenting on the transaction, Nick Tippett, Corporate Finance Director, said: “eXmoor is a really good example of the quality of businesses the South West has to offer. We are pleased to have supported the management team through this investment phase and look forward to seeing the business and team go from strength to strength and fully achieve their potential with the support of MVM.”
To read our South West Deals Review 2020, click here.