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Mercia’s PolyTherics combines with Antitope

Mercia Fund Management (MFM) portfolio company PolyTherics has merged with Antitope, a provider of antibody engineering and immunogenicity screening services, to create an enlarged group with an extensive suite of services and technologies to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.

PolyTherics is issuing new shares up to an aggregate value of GBP13.5m to fund the merger with Antitope and to provide working capital. Imperial Innovations led the investment and brought in new investor Invesco Perpetual with further funds provided by Mercia Fund Management and Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund.
The PolyTherics group has a strong client base in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, including many of the world’s top companies.
The group will combine its portfolio of proprietary and complementary technologies and services to address key needs in biopharmaceutical development. The combined portfolio will include conjugation technologies to produce more stable and homogeneous antibody drug conjugates, technologies to optimise the pharmacokinetics of biologics, technologies for immunogenicity screening, technologies to re-engineer antibodies and proteins to reduce their immunogenicity, and cell line development.
Dr John Burt will continue as CEO of PolyTherics and Antitope will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the PolyTherics group. Dr Matthew Baker will continue as chief scientific officer for Antitope and the company will retain its base, management and operational structure at the Babraham Research Campus, near Cambridge.   
The expanded offering will provide the PolyTherics group with a broad technology platform for growth and a solid financial base with sustainable revenue streams over the short-, medium- and longer-term. Growing revenues are derived from the services offered by Antitope, feasibility studies undertaken by PolyTherics and from pre-defined milestone payments under licence agreements for the group’s conjugation and de-immunisation technologies. These licences also have the potential to provide future royalties on a portfolio of products based on the group’s proprietary technologies.
Burt says: “The combination of PolyTherics and Antitope is a significant strategic step, immediately broadening our business and accelerating our growth. We look forward to building PolyTherics into a leading global provider of technologies that enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals.”
Baker says: “The combination of Antitope with PolyTherics provides an excellent opportunity for us to expand and grow our offering to our existing clients. The combined company will have critical mass in terms of technologies, skills and resources and will enable us to leverage the full potential of our antibody engineering and deimmunisation platforms. We are delighted to become part of the PolyTherics group and believe this move will enable us to support growing demand for our technologies from the global biopharma industry.”    
Dr Mark Payton, managing director of Mercia Fund Management and PolyTherics board member, says: “it is a continued pleasure to support what is an exceptional team at PolyTherics and Antitope to build out a compelling, sustainable business to the benefit of all employees and shareholders alike.” 

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