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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 is a specialist designer and developer of biological molecules such as proteins, viruses and cells. It provides design, development and production services for biological therapeutics based on these types of molecules.

The company has four main technology areas focusing 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.

Mercia first invested in Oxford Genetics through its managed funds. In 2015, Mercia Technologies invested £150,000 plus a further £2.0million in 2016 to build its direct equity position and help further scale the business.

CEO and co-founder Dr Ryan Cawood is an experienced genetic engineer with extensive knowledge and practical insight into working with mammalian virus and cellular recombinant expression systems. His co-founder Professor Leonard Seymour is a professor at the Department of Oncology, University of Oxford (and previously was at the University of Birmingham) and has 25 years’ experience in genetic engineering. Leonard is also the co-founder of PsiOxus Therapeutics and The Native Antigen Company, in which Mercia also invested from both its managed funds and balance sheet (and is a shareholder alongside the University of Birmingham).

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 significantly grown its IP portfolio estate and now has six patent families. In 2017, the company also secured £1.9million of grant funding to accelerate growth in the bioproduction and complex antibody discovery system product lines.

Oxford Genetics benefits from exceptional talent at all levels in the organisation and with continuing growth has expanded into new premises. The company intends to grow its research and development team further to meet market demand, escalate its end-to-end system by capturing greater value downstream and establish an office in USA to increase its market reach. Revenues have grown by 100% year-on-year for the last three years as the business continues to accelerate its commercial progress, in what is a very attractive sector.

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