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Two huge licensing deals help Oxford BioMedica swing to a first-half profit

Oxford signed deals with Bioverativ and Axovant, which could be worth upwards of US$1bn over the next few years
scientist in lab
Oxford also has an ongoing deal with Novartis, potentially worth more than US$100mln

Two huge licensing deals helped gross income at Oxford Biomedica PLC (LON:OXB) to more than double in the first half of the year.

Earlier this year, Oxford signed an exclusive licensing deal worth up to US$842.5mln with Axovant Sciences for its OXB-102 Parkinson’s disease treatment.

READ: Oxford BioMedica signs potentially lucrative deal with Axovant

It also inked a US$105mln collaboration and licence deal with Bioverativ – now part of Sanofi – in February, giving the latter access to its LentiVector platform.

Oxford received just shy of £20mln in upfront payments for those two deals in the opening six months of 2018, leading to gross income more than doubling to £36.0mln (H1 17: £16.5mln).

Those receipts also meant the company swung to an operational profit of £9.4mln, compared with a loss of £2.2mln a year earlier.

Oxford’s cash position was also strengthened, rising to £44.0mln at the end of June (H1 17: £10.2mln).

On top of this, the firm’s collaboration with Swiss pharma giant Novartis is also “progressing well”.

Last summer, Oxford signed a major contract with Novartis to supply antiviral lectors used in the latter’s cell therapy treatment for leukaemia.

That deal could bring in more than US$100mln over the three-year term, and Novartis received some good news in the first half when Kymriah was approved by the US FDA, while the NHS announced the treatment will be made available to children and young adults in England.

Transformative year, says CEO

Oxford Biomedica has had a transformative year so far,” said chief executive John Dawson.

“The company's significant progress is highlighted by the ongoing success of our collaboration with Novartis for Kymriah, as well as a number of new partnership agreements.

“Specifically, the exclusive worldwide licence agreement signed with Axovant for OXB-102 successfully executes on our pre-stated strategy to externalise product development beyond the end of the pre-clinical phase.

“Following these developments, we are greatly encouraged by the outlook for the full year and with the finances now in place, we are able to accelerate our capacity expansion plans to meet future demand.”

Shares rose 5.4% to 857.5p, more than double what they were worth this time last year.

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