Bristol-based eXmoor, the expert cell and gene therapy (CGT) services company has announced an initial investment of £12 million from specialist healthcare investment firm MVM Partners, to enable eXmoor’s ambitious expansion plans. This will create a new dedicated 50,000 ft2 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, the company 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.
The investment from MVM denotes a key milestone in eXmoor’s international growth strategy. The deal will facilitate expansion plans to create the new, dedicated CGT facility which will be designed in-house by eXmoor’s highly experienced, Capital Projects team led by Director Gavin Sutton. The new facility will increase capacity for process development and add early phase clinical GMP (good manufacturing practice) for cell therapies, gene therapies and viral vectors. The business will also grow and develop its Translation Consultancy and Capital Project teams. The growth plans will see significant job creation in the region with staff headcount projected to increase from 40 to 200, within 5 years.
Based in Boston and London, MVM focusses on investing in high growth healthcare businesses. MVM will bring CGT and associated services experience and strategic insight to the business, with MVM partner Thomas Casdagli joining the eXmoor board of directors and Jack Tanaka joining as board observer.
MVM will hold a significant minority stake in eXmoor as part of the deal.
The longer-term impact of the investment and eXmoor’s planned expansion will support CGT process development at a critical time. The UK is a world leader in CGT research; eXmoor will help organisations commercialise this huge research base as well as providing additional manufacturing capacity particularly in the viral vector area, acknowledged as lacking global capacity.
In readiness for the expansion, eXmoor has formed a new senior leadership team and welcomes former CEO of McLaren Applied Technologies, Ian Rhodes, into the business as Director of Consulting and Finance. Ian has extensive experience in leading high growth businesses through their scale-up phases.
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.”