Fusion Antibodies to become third Northern Irish company listed on the London Stock Exchange
Fusion Antibodies, a Queen’s University spin-out, plans to float on the AIM market hoping to imitate the success of Northern Ireland’s only two publicly-listed companies; First Derivatives and Kainos Group.
Fusion was founded in 2001 and provides services to biopharmaceutical and diagnostics companies which are involved in the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications. Its broad range of services covers antibody generation, development, production, characterisation and optimisation.
The company has confirmed it is proposing to raise approximately £5.5m via a conditional placing through its NOMAD and broker Allenby Capital. Shares will trade under FAB.
Fusion is set to have a market capitalisation on admission of £18.1m. The net proceeds of the placing will be used to expand the company’s existing laboratory space, increase its sales and marketing efforts, develop new service lines, and provide working capital.
Dr Paul Kerr, CEO of Fusion, commented: “We are very pleased with the level of interest generated from new institutional investors in support of our AIM listing. When concluded we anticipate the placing to be oversubscribed and this demonstrates the strong support for our business strategy as we continue to invest in further growth across the business.
“We have established Fusion as a one-stop-shop for antibody engineering & humanisation, and cell line development for the world’s largest developers of antibody-based therapeutics drugs and diagnostics. We already have our first humanisation project in clinical trials and expect more to follow, and continue to grow the business having established a healthy forward order book. The move to AIM and the additional funding will allow us to continue this growth trajectory by expanding our capacity and developing our offering of new, high value, market differentiating products.”
Fusion has an international blue-chip client base, which includes eight of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies by revenue. A significant amount of the company’s revenue is generated from follow on service requests from existing clients, providing good visibility of future earnings.
Their growth strategy is based on the expansion of their client base as well as the addition of new services including antibody affinity maturation and development of a mammalian antibody library. This strategy uses the company’s proven technology and expertise and targets expansion both in the UK market and internationally.
John McGuckian, partner at Tughans, said: “We are delighted to have worked with DLA in advising our longstanding client Fusion Antibodies on its listing on the London Stock Exchange – only the third Northern Irish trading entity listed on an exchange.
“The listing on AIM will enable the company to raise the growth capital it requires to meet its ambitious expansion plans. It is remarkable to see yet another major success story for Northern Ireland in the international biotech sector and another successful spin-out from our local universities.”