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Maven VCTs lead £7m investment consortium backing ADC Biotechnology

Funding will enable the construction of a dedicated pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in North Wales, creating 50 new skilled scientific jobs.

Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), one of the UK’s most active private equity houses, is pleased to announce it is leading a £7 million investment in ADC Biotechnology (“ADC Bio”). This funding will support the construction of a dedicated pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at a new site in Deeside, North Wales, creating 50 new scientific jobs and allowing ADC Bio to move into manufacturing for clinical and commercial use. The investment consortium is led by Maven which is investing £2 million of VCT qualifying funds, and includes Seneca and Finance Wales, each investing an additional £2 million, and the Welsh Government which is providing a £1 million grant.

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. ADCs are the next generation of highly effective anti-cancer drugs which 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, particularly given the added value and 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.

Melanie Goward, Investment Director at Maven, said: “ADC Bio is one of the pioneers in 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.”

John Davies, Investment Director at Seneca, said: “As an existing investor in ADC Bio, we already have a good understanding of the qualities within the Management team and are confident that the team will be successful in delivering the next phase of the company’s development. The ADC market is one of the fastest growing areas within oncology therapeutics and ADC Bio has already established itself as a market leader through its patented Lock-Release technology. We are looking forward to continuing to support the company and working closely with our fellow consortium members.”
Paul Lee, Deputy Fund Manager, Technology Venture Investments at Finance Wales, said:
“Since our entry investment in 2011, we’ve supported ADC over interim additional rounds, and we are pleased to extend such support as a key participant in the current syndicated round. Moving into GMP manufacture is a major “step change” for ADC’s development and technical offering.  ADC is a high growth technology company which is creating highly skilled jobs in north Wales and we’re looking forward to continue working with them as they expand.”