UK ‘would be mad’ to restrict flow of scientists into the country after Brexit, Oxford Biomedica exec warns after $842m deal boosts profits
Growing pharmaceutical firm Oxford Biomedica has said the UK “would be mad” to restrict the flow of scientists as it reported a profit swing after landing an $842m (£643m) deal.
The London-listed biopharmaceutical firm signed the multi-million-dollar deal with Axovant Science for its Parkinson's disease treatment in June.
It also penned a $105m agreement giving Bioverativ access to its delivery platform in the field of haemophilia gene therapy in February.
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Chief financial officer Stuart Paynter told City A.M: “The general consensus in the industry is that if the UK wants to position itself as a leader in innovation, they would be mad to restrict the flow of skilled scientists.
“But we are planning for the worst, while hoping for the best.”
Paynter said the company's biggest challenge was navigating the speed of its growth – a “nice problem” he said, and that many of its expanding workforce were highly skilled scientists.
The Oxford-based firm had 50 employees in 2014 and could reach up to 500 next year as it revealed plans for a fourth facility.
Upfront payments for the two deals it has struck so far this year led to an 118 per cent rise in gross income to £36m.
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It swung to an operational profit of £9.4m compared with a £2.2m loss a year earlier.
Its collaboration with Novartis to help administer a new leukaemia treatment Kymriah– worth more than $100m over three years – has also progressed with the drug gaining NHS approval last month.
Chief executive John Dawson said: “Oxford Biomedica has had a transformative year so far.
“The company’s significant progress is highlighted by the ongoing success of our collaboration with Novartis for Kymriah, as well as a number of new partnership agreements.”
Shares closed five per cent up at 854.1p.