Total revenues decreased by four per cent at Oxford Biomedica plc, a leading gene and cell therapy group, to £64.1 million (2018: Revenue of £66.8 million) due to lower milestone and licensing revenue.
The company’s latest results reveal that processing and commercial development revenues increased to £47.3 million (2018: £40.5 million). Despite the capacity constraints within the business, growth in full year revenues of 17% was achieved, driven by double digit growth across both activities.
However, operating expenses increased by 57 per cent from £26.6 million to £41.8 million reflecting investment in bioprocessing operations and people in preparation for the Oxbox bioprocessing facility coming online in Oxford this year.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Biomedica, said: “Oxford Biomedica made good progress during 2019, extending our commercial supply agreement with Novartis for another five years, establishing a new partnership with Santen and delivering our new facilities expansion on target. Beyond the period end we also signed a new major new agreement with Juno Therapeutics / Bristol Myers Squibb. The cell and gene therapy sector continues to grow rapidly and we remain at the forefront of its innovation. Our new collaboration with Microsoft is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to further boost the efficiency of our world-leading LentiVector® delivery platform, as we continue the process to industrialise lentiviral vector development and manufacture. We are building an exciting business, and with the significant investment by Novo Holdings in 2019, our simplified Statement of financial position places us in a stronger position to realise the potential of our world-leading technology.”
The company is developing amajor new 84,000 sqft (7,800 sqm) bioprocessing facility at Oxbox in Oxford, which is on target with initial building phase completed, validation ongoing and first commercial batches anticipated H1 2020
Occupation of new 32,000 sqft (2,970 sqm) Windrush Innovation Centre (WIC) commenced during 2019 with increased utilization expected during 2020.
In April the Group joined a Consortium led by the Jenner Institute, Oxford University, to rapidly develop, scale-up and manufacture a potential vaccine candidate for COVID-19 called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. AstraZeneca subsequently entered into an agreement with Oxford University for the global development and distribution of the vaccine on 30th April. While the potential impact on the Group is currently uncertain, should clinical trials be successful the Group will provide access to its large scale GMP manufacturing facilities including Oxbox to support the manufacturing scale up for Oxford University and AstraZeneca.