News archive 2005
King's spin-out company brings £1m to College31 Mar 2005, PR 20/05
A King's College London drug discovery and development spin-out company, seeking new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, has today floated on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market), bringing a £1 million windfall for the College.
Proximagen Neuroscience plc was formed around the research and expertise of King's Professor of Pharmacology Peter Jenner in 2003.
The funds raised will be used by the company to develop its therapeutic product pipeline. Proximagen will further invest in its internal research and development to address neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease for pre-clinical and clinical development, and will also seek to in-license compounds that will be carefully selected from the wider range of research projects available to the company.
It is hoped that two of the potential drugs that Proximagen is currently developing will start trials in humans in one to two year's time.
The life expectancy of the general population is increasing such that the proportion of the world population aged over 60 is forecast by the World Health Organisation to double between 2000 and 2050. This suggests that the number of individuals suffering from age-related neurodegenerative diseases will also increase.
It is believed that the neurodegenerative drugs market, as a result of its size and existing therapeutic needs, represents a significant opportunity for the company. Global annual sales of current pharmaceutical products for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are alone estimated to be in excess of US billion.
Professor Peter Jenner said:
‘The company's flotation is very exciting and reflects the first class neurodegenerative research and development capabilities of the company and the College. The proceeds to the fundraising will be directed toward programmes which we believe will make important inroads into treating these debilitating diseases. There is currently only limited symptomatic treatment for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, with no treatments to halt or reverse the underlying brain tissue degeneration.'
Commenting on the flotation, Kenneth Mulvany, Proximagen's Chief Executive Officer, said:
‘I am delighted that Proximagen has joined AIM. The Company has outstanding expertise in the area of neurodegenerative disease and drug development, and we look forward to making further progress in our programmes which we believe will improve the quality of life of patients and add value for our shareholders.'
The commercial development of the business was facilitated by seed investment from IP2IPO Limited who specialise in commercialising university technology. King's entered into a long-term partnership with IP2IP0 in 2003 to commercialise the College's intellectual property through the formation and development of new business ventures. Proximagen is the first company to be floated as a result of this collaboration.
Dr Alison Campbell, Managing Director of KCL Enterprises Ltd., said:
‘I am delighted to see that the investment market shares our confidence in Proximagen. The success of the floatation means that Proximagen is now well placed to leverage its excellent science and strong management to develop new therapies in these important disease areas. The floatation also cements the successful relationship that we have built with our partners IP2IPO.'
The placing raised £14.5 million (before expenses), including £13.5 million for Proximagen at a placing price of 148p per share. Proximagen's capitalisation on admission was £29.7 million.
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's – a member of the Russell Group, a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities – is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with 13,800 undergraduate students and some 5,400 postgraduates in ten schools of study. The College had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level. The recent Institutional Audit, carried out by the Quality Assurance Agency, received an excellent result. King's is in the top group of universities for research earnings with income from grants and contracts £100 million and has an annual turnover of £348 million.
Professor Peter Jenner
Peter Jenner is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Proximagen. He is responsible for the scientific leadership and management of Proximagen's pre-clinical research initiatives. Professor Jenner is also Professor of Pharmacology in the School of Biomedical Sciences at King's College London.
KCL Enterprises (KCLE)
KCL Enterprises is the wholly owned enterprise and innovation company of King's College London. It is responsible for business development and commercialisation of the College's intellectual property and for the negotiation and management of its research grants and contracts.
IP2IP0 is an intellectual property company that commercialises university technology. It partners some of the UK's top research-led universities including King's and the Universities of Oxford, Southampton, Leeds and York. It has helped to create more than 30 university spin-out companies. King's entered into a long-term partnership with IP2IP0 in 2003 to commercialise the College's intellectual property through the formation and development of new business ventures. www.ip2ipo.com/
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