24 May 2018
Invest NI to support Fusion's growth through the creation of up to 28 new jobs
Fusion Antibodies plc (AIM: FAB), a contract research organisation providing a range of antibody engineering services for the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications, announces that on 23 May 2018 it received a selective financial assistance letter (the "SFA Letter") from Invest Northern Ireland ("Invest NI") setting out the terms by which the Company is entitled to grants from Invest NI totalling up to £213,000 (the "Grants"), which will be used to create up to 28 additional jobs and support additional business development over the next 24 months.
Invest NI is the regional business development agency for Northern Ireland, providing support to local businesses in the region and has been a long-standing supporter to the Company, as well as a substantial shareholder in the Company.
The SFA Letter sets out the terms of a new financial assistance agreement in place between the Company and Invest NI which expires in November 2020.
Under the SFA Letter, up to £168,000 of these Grants are in respect of an employment grant whereby the Company is entitled to a payment of £6,000 per additional worker as each employee is taken on over the next 24 months. The additional 28 jobs, if they are all filled, are expected to take the total workforce to 55 people and are part of the Company's significant investment programme to deliver future growth.
In addition, up to £45,000 of the Grants have been provided to support additional business development activity to grow the Company's international customer base. The Company will be entitled to Grants of 30% of approved expenditure in connection with international business development up to an aggregate total of £45,000.
The Grants subject to the SFA Letter are in addition to the grant funding announced by the Company on 1 March 2018.
As Invest NI is a substantial shareholder in the Company as defined in the AIM Rules for Companies ("AIM Rules"), the receipt of the Grants constitutes a related party transaction pursuant to the AIM Rules. The Directors of Fusion, having consulted with its nominated adviser, Allenby Capital Limited, consider the terms of the Grants to be fair and reasonable insofar as the Company's shareholders are concerned.
Grainne McVeigh, Invest NI's Director of Life Sciences, said: "This expansion is an exciting milestone for Fusion Antibodies which is among a dynamic group of companies contributing to our growing Life and Health Sciences sector. Invest NI has been working alongside the business for many years and we are delighted to be helping Fusion Antibodies to scale up its workforce and target market opportunities with drug development and diagnostics companies across the globe."
Paul Kerr, CEO of Fusion Antibodies commented: "Invest NI continues to provide excellent support as we look to expand the business rapidly and to capitalise on our position as a successful international CRO providing a range of antibody engineering services. These Grants will help to fund the expansion of our team as we more than double the capacity of our laboratory and office space, with work expected to be completed by the end of the summer, ahead of our original schedule.
"The new employees will include technically skilled staff working to deliver our current services to biopharma companies, and also scientists with specialised skills to work in our new product development team on the establishment of our antibody affinity maturation service and the creation of a mammalian antibody library. In addition, our growth strategy, focussed on reinvigorating and expanding our new business development and sales function, will benefit from further resource in this area."
|Fusion Antibodies plc||www.fusionantibodies.com|
|Dr Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer||Via Walbrook PR|
|James Fair, Chief Financial Officer|
|Allenby Capital Limited||Tel: +44 (0)20 3328 5656|
|Virginia Bull / James Reeve / Asha Chotai|
|Walbrook PR||Tel: +44 (0)20 7933 8780 or email@example.com|
|Helen Cresswell||Mob: +44 (0)7841 917 679|
|Lianne Cawthorne||Mob: +44 (0)7584 391 303|
About Fusion Antibodies plc
Fusion is a Belfast based, revenue generating and profitable contract research organisation ("CRO") providing a range of antibody engineering services for the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications.
The Company's ordinary shares were admitted to trading on AIM on 18 December 2017. Fusion provides a broad range of services in antibody generation, development, production, characterisation and optimisation. These services include antigen expression, antibody production, purification and sequencing, antibody humanisation using Fusion's proprietary CDRx™ platform and the production of antibody generating stable cell lines to provide material for use in clinical trials. Since 2012, the Company has successfully sequenced over 250 antibodies and successfully completed over 100 humanisation projects for its international, blue-chip client base, which includes eight of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by revenue.
The Company was established in 2001 as a spin out from Queen's University Belfast. It was initially a drug development business but revised its operations to focus on CRO work in 2011. The Company has a highly experienced management team with a combined 47 years' experience in the biopharma industry.
The global monoclonal antibody therapeutics market, which accounted for 43 per cent. of the global biologics market in 2016, was valued at between $85.4 billion and $86.7 billion in 2015 and is forecast to increase at a CAGR of between 8.2 per cent. and 12.2 per cent. for the period 2016 to 2024.