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Oxford Genetics is a synthetic biology company specialising in DNA design, protein expression optimisation and cell line development technologies and services.

Oxford Genetics, which was held in the managed funds for two and a half years before becoming an Emerging Star in 2015, is a specialist designer and developer of biological molecules such as proteins, viruses and cells operating within the rapidly growing synthetic biology market, which is estimated to reach c.$26.0billion by 2025. It provides design, development and production services for biological therapeutics.

The company is regularly mentioned in reviews of top businesses operating in this sector. It has four main technology areas focused on improving the discovery, design, development and deployment of biological molecules. These technology areas are supported by the company’s patent-protected SnapFast DNA engineering technology, which makes genetic engineering more efficient, combined with its selective use of in-licensed CRISPR technology.

The team has been building a best-in-class synthetic-biology based tool set, supplemented by online sales of its DNA designs and plasmid development services, towards a model of technology licensing and high value-add service provision. Oxford Genetics has continued to develop its IP portfolio estate and now has nine patent families. The company employs 52 people and sales continue to grow by over 100% year on year. With the opening of a US office in this period, sales in the US account for over 30% of total revenue and currently form its largest growth market.

Oxford Genetics benefits from exceptional talent at all levels in the organisation. Martin Hall (previously CFO of Allinea Software, a Mercia portfolio company sold to ARM in 2016) was brought into Oxford Genetics to support the founding CEO Dr Ryan Cawood and the senior management team, as they continue to scale this promising business. Professor Seymour, who is also a key founder of the business, has played significant roles in the success of two other of Mercia’s portfolio, PsiOxus Therapeutics and The Native Antigen Company.

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