Published: Sep 23, 2017
Focus: Growth Capital
Maven has led an investment in ADC Biotechnology (ADC Bio) to help fund the development of an £8 million dedicated pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at a site in Deeside, North Wales, creating 50 new skilled scientific jobs. The investment will allow ADC Bio to move into manufacturing for clinical and commercial use.
Maven VCTs invested as part of a syndicate of technology investors, which also includes Seneca and Finance Wales, alongside grant funding provided by the Welsh Government.
ADC Bio operates in the highest growth sector within oncology therapeutics and has developed a unique patented Lock-Release technology for the development and manufacture of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC) group of cancer therapies which are designed to specifically target and kill tumour cells. Known as ‘magic bullets’, ADCs are the next generation of anti-cancer drugs which combine the unique targeting capabilities of anti-bodies with the cancer-killing ability of cytotoxic drugs. ADCs also result in reduced side effects compared to conventional chemotherapy and could provide treatment for a wide range of cancers. The Lock-Release technology facilitates greater production efficiencies and a substantial reduction in the capital cost of manufacturing these drugs for commercial sale.
The move into clinical and commercial ADC manufacturing is highly strategic and will enable ADC Bio to convert its already strong customer base, which is currently focussed on manufacturing for R&D applications and includes large pharmaceutical companies, to higher value clinical development work. Many such clients have already confirmed their commitment to using the facility, which ensures an established customer base ready to take up manufacturing capacity on completion. The worldwide market for the manufacture of ADC clinical trial materials has insufficient capacity and ADC Bio is being asked to supply large quantities of ADCs for use in trials. As a result, ADC Bio anticipates strong demand for the manufacturing facilities from pharmaceutical companies in the US and Europe, keen to take advantage of the production efficiencies the Lock-Release technology offers.
The management team, led by CEO Charlie Johnson, have extensive combined industry experience and are among the global leaders in this specialist field, having already successfully established a clinical drug manufacturing facility in Scotland.
Dr Melanie Goward, Investment Director at Maven, said: “ADC Bio is one of the pioneers in the manufacturing of oncology therapeutics. We are delighted to be leading the consortium of investors to fund the company’s new innovative clinical facility in Wales, as well as creating highly skilled new jobs in the area. This a hugely exciting time for ADC Bio given the growing global demand for anti-cancer drugs and we have every confidence that the company will benefit from the cost efficiencies of its Lock-Release technology. We look forward to working with Charlie Johnson and his highly skilled team as they grow the already strong customer base.”
Charlie Johnson, CEO at ADC Biotechnology Limited, said: “The investment and development in the new facility will see the creation of a host of new, degree level and above jobs locally. We are very confident about orders and already have confirmation that many of our existing customers will use the new facility for future projects and we expect to add a number of new drug projects from companies in the USA and Europe. It’s really exciting that some of the world’s most advanced therapies will be developed here in the North West and we would like to thank the teams at Maven, Seneca, Finance Wales and the Welsh Government for their support and investment to help fund this project.”