#UK Cambridge March deals top $2.69 billion


jagex, games, technology, cambridge, chinese

March came in like a lion and kept roaring as far as dealflow in the Cambridge UK science & technology cluster was concerned – with lambs nowhere in sight.

Deals and investment in the month topped $2.69 billion, taking the value of transactions to $93.063bn in the 36 months of Business Weekly’s Cambridge Deals Digest. That’s a monthly average of $2.589bn.

One of the most mind-boggling transactions was the apparent $300 million acquisition of Cambridge online games creator Jagex by the troubled Chinese mining company Shandong Honda. Jagex continues to hire big in Cambridge in a sector in which Cambridge leads the world.

Government funding for local Enterprise Zones, a new three-county unitary authority welding Cambs, Norfolk and Suffolk, and allied initiatives were estimated to be worth just shy of $2bn.

On a day-to-day basis, life science fundraisings and acquisitions continued to be pep the cluster’s economy. Atlantic Healthcare plc, an international specialty pharma company focusing on gastrointestinal disorders, raised $24 million to underpin international expansion.

Led by Toby Wilson Waterworth, the business raised the cash from an oversubscribed equity financing round with the founders of Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Fullbrook Thorpe Investments LLP (the family investment arm of Andy Leaver, founder of Clinigen Group plc); LDC (the private equity division of Lloyds Banking Group plc); and existing investors.

The investment will fund the recently announced pivotal Phase 3 trial for alicaforsen enema, Atlantic Healthcare’s wholly-owned product to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease pouchitis, as well as the regulatory filings for approval with the US FDA, EMA, and Health Canada.

GV – formerly Google Ventures – led a $21 million Series B funding round for a Cambridge UK epigenome pioneer.
Cambridge Epigenetix (CEGX), has been described as the best bet to commercialise epigenetic sequencing to boost treatment of a raft of diseases.

GV’s Tom Hulme said: “We’ve seen how the commercialisation of genome sequencing has created incredible opportunities to improve human health and now the epigenome holds similar potential. Cambridge Epigenetix is one of the few teams on the planet with the skills and experience to break new ground here, and we look forward to supporting them on that journey.”

Current investors New Science Ventures, Syncona Partners and Cambridge University also joined the round. Hulme will join CEGX’s board of directors and co-founder Dr Bobby Yerramilli-Rao will assume the role of chairman.

Cambridge antibodies powerhouse Abcam set out plans to invest more than $27.2m in the next two years to continue to scale the business globally. Systems, processes and product range would all be transformed by the investment, said CEO Alan Hirzel.

Horizon Discovery in Cambridge formed a joint venture with fellow UK business Centauri Therapeutics to leverage technology invented by a Nobel Laureate that will fight killer cancers on a fresh front. Horizon is investing up to $8m in the JV which creates a differentiated new player in the rapidly growing immuno-oncology market, currently valued at $31bn and estimated to be worth £65bn by 2020.

A newly-formed company – Avvinity Therapeutics – will be jointly managed by Horizon, via its research biotech business, and Centauri.

It is thought the enterprise will initially create 10 or more additional jobs but Business Weekly understands that more than 25 new jobs could be on the cards in 2017/18 when the company is likely to hold a Series B funding round targeting something upwards of $40m.

Additional joint ventures, spin-outs and internal research programmes are likely to be triggered that will result in a fairly rapid expansion of the new business. These are likely to be announced later this year and into 2017. Technology fashioned by Cambridge-based Sepura will keep communications flowing at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer after the group was handed an $11.4m million contract by The Public Security Secretary of Río de Janeiro State to provide communications for the summer Olympics and Paralympics, informally known as Rio 2016.

In the land of the startups, Cambridge imaging technology startup Spectral Edge completed an oversubscribed $2m second funding round to commercialise its product portfolio. New lead investors IQ Capital and Parkwalk Advisors, along with angel investors from Cambridge Angels, Wren Capital, Cambridge Capital Group and Martlet, the Marshall of Cambridge Corporate Angel investment fund, joined the Rainbow Seed Fund/Midven and Iceni in backing the company.

Spun out of the University of East Anglia (UEA) Colour Lab, Spectral Edge has developed innovative image fusion technology. This combines different types of image, ranging from the visible to invisible (such as infrared and thermal), to enhance detail, aid visual accessibility, and create ever more beautiful pictures.

Property deals were more prolific than at any time in the last 15 months, worth more than $110m, and officially undisclosed transactions topped $150m.

from Business Weekly http://ift.tt/1UPPA4y

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