The University of Nottingham has sold 4.3 million shares in one of its spin-out companies, Oncimmune, raising over £5 million to support the University’s research and teaching activities.
Oncimmune is a leading early cancer detection company developing and commercialising its proprietary test for early cancer detection: EarlyCDT®. The company has pioneered the development of autoantibody tests that can detect cancer up to four years earlier than other methods and can be applied to a very wide range of solid tumour types.
The earlier identification of cancer leads to better outcomes, less aggressive treatments and increased survival rates. Oncimmune’s first product, EarlyCDT®-Lung, was launched in 2012 and since then over 150,000 commercial tests have been sold.
The company was founded on the research work of Professor John Robertson, a research active clinical oncologist, based in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
His research project led to the formation of the spin-out company in 2002, which was publicly listed on AIM in 2016. The University’s shares in Oncimmune were acquired through an initial shareholding at formation of the spin-out, followed by further investment from the University over the intervening years.
The sale of Oncimmune shares is in line with University policy and has generated a substantial return. In addition, the University retains 2.2 million shares which will allow the University to benefit if the share price increases further as the company continues to develop.
Oncimmune Chief Executive Geoffrey Hamilton-Fairley said: “This announcement is a natural evolution of our shareholder register as the University of Nottingham, where Oncimmune’s EarlyCDT platform technology was invented, realises the value of part of their shareholding.Oncimmune still has ties to the University and we are grateful to them for their role in the origin of the EarlyCDT platform.”
The University’s spin-out portfolio is managed by a wholly-owned subsidiary, Nottingham Technology Ventures. The portfolio includes over 20 business in various stages of development including 3 listed companies.
Andrew Naylor, Chief Executive of Nottingham Technology Ventures, said: “The sale of shares represents a significant return on our original investment in Oncimmune and the company is an exemplar of what can be done when a technology is successfully spun out from the University of Nottingham.
“It has been a pleasure to see Oncimmune grow into a leading early cancer detection company that is already saving lives and is on track to save many more.We look to the future with confidence as the company has the management and strategy in place to deliver value and we are delighted to retain a significant shareholding.”