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Oxford Technology is the specialist
in the start-up and early stage technology sector
Tax Shelter Report, Allenbridge
Oxford Technology is the specialist
in the start-up and early stage technology sector
Tax Shelter Report, Allenbridge
Oxford Technology is the specialist
in the start-up and early stage technology sector
Tax Shelter Report, Allenbridge

VCT4

Oxford Technology 4 VCT raised £10.2m in 2005 and has had 2 further top up fundraisings in 2009 and 2010 raising an additional £679k. The Fund is now fully invested.

Net asset value per share was 51.9p as at 28 Feb 2017.

Dividends paid to 28 Feb 2017 are 37p per share resulting from the sale of Dexela, Meciria and Impact.


Portfolio

Abzena

Abzena

Abzena - Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Jan 2012
Abzena - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Jan 2012

OT3 and OT4 were originally investors in Warwick Effect Polymers (First invested in Nov 2002) which was acquired by Abzena and which is now a quoted company on the AIM market.


Biopharmaceuticals are an increasingly important class of medicines with over 400 products estimated to be in clinical development and the market expected to increase from US$199.7 billion in 2013 to US$497.9 billion by 2020. Antibody-based products and therapeutic proteins are the two largest and fastest growing segments of this market.


Abzena provides a suite of complementary services and technologies to R&D organisations to improve the chances of successful development of therapeutic proteins and antibodies, and it is therefore poised to capitalise on the growth of the biopharmaceutical market. The Group has significant know-how, supported by a broad patent estate, to enable it to create better biopharmaceuticals for its customers.


Abzena operates a balanced business model with growing revenues from its service business and the potential for significant future growth through royalty bearing licences for the application of its technologies to biopharmaceutical products. The Group’s technologies and services are provided through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, PolyTherics and Antitope.


PolyTherics and Antitope have been developing and offering their technologies and services for over 10 years and their scientists have provided expertise to a wide range of companies, including most of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies, many large and small public and private biotech, and academic groups, across the world.


The 5 main areas the company works in are:

Immunogenicity assessment

Antibody drug conjugates

Antibody | protein engineering

Optimisation of pharmacokinetics

Cell line development

Abzena is listed in the FTSE AIM All-Share Index in the Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology sector. (Code ABZA)


Arecor

Arecor

Arecor- Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Jul 2007
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Arecor - Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Jul 2007
Arecor - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Jul 2007

In July 2007, Arecor was spun-out as a separate company with all existing shareholders in Insense owning their pro-rata shares in Arecor. Arecor then raised additional capital (OT4 was able to subscribe but OT2 and OT3 did not have the capital with which to do this at the time).

As proteins increasingly dominate the drug development pipelines of major pharmaceutical companies, many are seeking assistance in developing stable formulations. The company has paid feasibility studies with ten of the top twenty pharmaceutical companies to new stable formulations of specific therapeutic proteins and vaccines.

In the spring of 2010, Arecor signed a broad agreement with Genzyme, Inc. under which Arecor will develop stable formulations of Genzyme’s proprietary proteins and license the Arecor technology for an ongoing pipeline of products. In April 2011 Arecor signed license agreements covering two vaccines with GSK Bio.  In December 2011, Arecor reached agreement with the American company Eli Lilly which provides for licenses on formulations of new and existing products.  Currently, Arecor is working on three products under this agreement with the first expected to go to license in the coming year.  A second agreement was signed with Lilly in May 2012 providing for a license on a specific undisclosed marketed molecule.  If the development is successful these agreements can generate very substantial milestone income on each molecule plus ongoing royalties to Arecor.

Arecor has expanded the initial patent portfolio to fifteen patent families covering all the major pathways of protein degradation and improved formulations for specific products.  The Company has recently received official notification of its first patent going to grant.  

Arecor

Castleton Technologies

Castleton Technologies- Investment Information for OT4

When Impact Applications was sold to Castleton Technologies, OT4 acquired shares in Castleton as part of that deal. At time of acquisition (29 May 2015), the shares were worth £1.09m.

Diamond Hard Surfaces

Diamond Hard Surfaces

Diamond Hard Surfaces - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Jan 2005

The purpose of the initial investment was to build an experimental furnace to develop a novel process to produce a diamond coating on a variety of substrates. The results of the initial work were very promising and the company was able to produce a variety of diamond coatings which were: 1) extremely hard (diamond is the hardest natural substance) 2) very low friction (lower than Teflon) 3) thick (up to 60 microns – most diamond coatings are much less thick) 4) applicable to a wide variety of substrates due to low deposition temperature. This combination of qualities is ideal for prolonging the service life of mechanical components which experience high levels of wear and which are also expensive to replace.

Test sample steel disks

Dynamic Extractions

Dynamic Extractions

Dynamic Extractions - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Aug 2005

The chemical reactions which produce pharmaceutical drugs typically produce mixtures of compounds, from which the desired compound must then be separated and purified. Dynamic Extractions was formed in 2001 having spun-out from Brunel University, where the patented HPCCC technology was developed. OT4 invested in Aug 2005, when DE moved to purpose built premises in Slough. DE has four sizes of HPCCC instruments, from the Mini, for doing milligram quantities in the laboratory, up to the Maxi, which is for production scale separations. One of the important advantages of HPCCC is that it scales automatically. So what works at small scale will also work at production scale. This is not true of conventional methods. HPCCC is potentially a much more efficient method of drug production and the hope is that developing this technology will keep pharma companies in the UK.

Dynamic Extractions

Glide Pharma

Glide Pharma

Glide Pharma - Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Nov 2003
Glide Pharma - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Feb 2005

Glide Technologies is a clinical stage technology development company. Glide has developed a novel device and drug delivery technology for the self-administration of injectable therapeutics and the delivery of vaccines in a solid dosage form.

The Glide solid dose injector (‘SDI®’) has undergone successful human factor and surrogate skin injection studies.

The Company is currently working on several new development projects including:

1. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) which requires a daily self-injection and is for treatment of osteoporosis. In November 2012 the UK BioMedical Catalyst (managed jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board) awarded Glide £2.3m to support this development.

2. Anthrax vaccine. This is a development with Pfenex Inc, based in California, as a partner with funding from NIAID (National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases) in the US. At present the US government stockpiles anthrax vaccine in liquid form but in the event of a major attack it will be very difficult to inject a large population (New York, say) with needle and syringe. In addition, the vaccine in liquid form only has a shelf life of c18-24 months before it has to be remanufactured. With the Glide SDI, the population may be vaccinated more easily and in solid format the vaccine should have a significantly longer shelf life.

3. Glide flu vaccine. Feasability studies are being undertaken on the use of sold dose flu vaccines.

In parallel to progressing its own product pipeline Glide will be looking to attract new pharmaceutical companies who want to develop proprietary drugs and vaccines in the Glide SDI.

Historic Futures

Historic Futures

Historic Futures - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Aug 2005

Historic Futures make it possible for companies to collect and manage value chain data, from primary production to finished product and to communicate good practice to their customers.

Today HF's largest project is a Partnership Agreement with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC https://ic.fsc.org/) to develop and deliver the Online Claims Platform, or OCP (http://ocp-info.fsc.org/) . This is a tool to check the validity of transactions involving FSC certified materials anywhere in the value chain. There are some 30,000 FSC Certificate Holders who trade billions of dollars worth of certified products across the globe. Version 1 of the OCP is already available for use and HF continues to work closely with FSC to identify improvements as well as new application areas.

Having gained truly unique real-world experience of large traceability and value chain projects over the past few years, the business is currently developing a brand new online service (called String3 (http://www.getstring3.com/)) focused specifically on streamlining the onerous task of collecting reliable information describing the origin of raw materials. HF's experience across textiles, forestry and mining/ minerals indicates that most brands and retailers require better information about origin across a greater proportion of their product portfolio - and that they have no efficient tools to collect and analyse this data today. The project is currently at the prototype stage.

ImmunoBiology

Immuno Biology

ImmunoBiology- Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Dec 2000
ImmunoBiology- Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment May 2003
ImmunoBiology- Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Dec 2000

ImmunoBiology is developing novel vaccines using a proprietary heat shock protein-complex (HspC) approach. Hsps are an important family of protective proteins that are produced by cells under stress - they were originally observed in cells that had been subjected to a sudden temperature increase, hence the name heat shock protein.

The HspC technology allows the production of vaccines incorporating a range of different antigens from a single pathogen bound to a carrier protein the heat shock protein. ImmBio’s research shows that HspC vaccines are more powerful, longer lasting and potentially provide broader protection against multiple strains of a particular pathogen than existing vaccines.

The influenza virus

Insense

Insense

Insense - Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Jun 2001
Insense - Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment
Insense - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment May 2003

Insense Ltd is a spin-out from Unilever and has developed a range of active dressings, which can be applied to the skin to treat a variety of conditions. The essence of the technology is that the the dressings consist of two (or more) parts which are then brought together on the skin when the dressing is applied. The parts then react to produce a chemical (s) which is slowly released over a period of hours or days and this chemical then actively helps the condition.

Insense

The first products were for wound-healing. Insense produced two dressings, Iodozyme and OxyZyme. The first was for infecxted wounds produced a steady flux of Iodine and oxygen at the wound surface. The Iodine reduced or elimianted the infection and the Oxygen promoted natural healing processes. OxyZyme was for non-infected wounds and produced a steady flux of wound-healing Oxygen at the wound surface. (The best treatment for wounds is to leave them open to the air. But the problem with this is that the wounds can become infected. Oxyzyme allows the wound to be bathed in a flux of Oxygen while also allowing the wound to be covered to keep out infections.)

Insense sold these products for several years to the NHS, but did not itself have the marketing organisation necessary to achieve more than a small volume of sales and Insense did not reach breakeven on these sales. In 2012 the rights to the manufacture and marketing of these dressings were sold to Crawford Medical. Insense received an up-front payment which will be followed by further payments based on performance.

In order to sterilise the Insense dressings after manufacture, Professor Davis had to develop a method of stabilising the proteins so that they would withstand ionising radiation. Having done this, it transpired that many pharma companies were interested in using this technology for their own protein-based products. This led to the spin-out of Arecor. All the shareholders in Insense received the same % of shares in Arecor which then raised capital to fund its own expansion. Arecor achieved sales of £860,000 in the year to May 2013, and sales increased during the year to May 2014.

Insense has developed treatments for a number of skin conditions. Insense is considering how best to exploit these opportunities. One method is by partnering with or licensing to larger companies who are already established in these markets.

Metal Nanopowders

Metal Nanopowders- Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Nov 2002
Total Investment to date £152,864
Current Value of Holding (as at 31 May 2015) £12,864
% Equity 20%
Metal Nanopowders- Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Aug 2006
Total Investment to date £52,273
Current Value of Holding (as at 31 May 2015) £10,606
% Equity 16.7%

Metal Nanopowders

Metal Nanopowders is a spin-out from Birmingham University, and was established to commercialise a process invented by Dr Isaac Chang for making very fine metal powders with diameters less than 100 nanometers. The purpose of the investment was to build a machine which is capable  of producing kilogram quantities of these powders. After the investment the company hired its first employee whose first task was to automate the production at lab scale, and then to design and build the kg scale production machine. Dr Chang has retained his academic position but is a director of the company, and is actively involved in its development.

Following the investment, it proved more difficult than expected to automate the process at lab scale, and it has transpired that it is much more difficult to make some powders than others. It proved necessary to go back to basics and to try to understand more about the fundamental physics of the process. The original engineer left, and a PhD student Lucian Faulticeanu became involved. Good progress was made and the company is now able to produce larger quantities of nanopowders reliably. Samples of many powders were made for a variety of customers with a variety of potential applications. If one of the applications leads top a commercial product then Metal nanopowders would scale up to produce tons and the business would become viable. In 2010 the business was scaled back with the founder, who continues  with his academic job at Birmingham university being the sole employee, sometimes assisted by a PhD student. During 2010 the company received a grant to make samples of a specialist nanopowder for a defence application. At the time of writing the first of these samples is being evaluated. In 2012, the company was involved in 7.8M Euros EU-FP7 NMP project entitled “Better Upscaling and Optimization of Nanoparticle and Nanostructure Production by Means of Electrical Discharges (BUONAPART-E)” to develop and demonstrate large scale production of nanoparticles at a rate of 1Kg/day.

Dr Chang & Lucian Falticeanu

MirriAd Advertising

mirriad

MirriAd- Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Feb 2005
Total Investment to date £769,590
Current Value of Holding (as at 31 May 2015) £14,989
% Equity 0.4%

MirriAd was spun out from another Oxford Technology 4 VCT investee, Imagineer Systems, in 2006. In May 2015 MirriAd's assets were purchased by Broadwall Acquisitions Ltd, subsequently renamed MirriAd Advertising Ltd. OT4 recieved shares in MirriAd Advertising as part of the acquisition.

MirriAd is able to deliver Embedded Advertising into video streams, ranging from user generated content, such as on YouTube and MySpace, to studio and broadcast quality productions, such as Casino Royale or Pop Idol. This capability allows real time ‘In-Video Advertising’, where branded products for instance, Coke cans, advertising hoardings, or even cars can be placed into video streams, appearing to the viewer as if they were there on the original film set. This means, for example, television game shows could be regionalised by inserting different branded products into multiple variations of a single show for example, Pepsi into one version of Pop Idol, for broadcast in the US, and 7 Up into another, for transmission in Europe. Popular clips on YouTube could be monetised by inserting branded objects or images into the background with the particular brand automatically selected according to the demographic of the individual downloader.

Product placement of Vans advert

Novacta Biosystems

novacta

Novacta Biosystems- Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Apr 2005

Novacta Biosystems Ltd was founded in 2003 to discover and develop novel pharmaceuticals with a particular focus on infectious disease. OT4 first invested in Novacta in 2005 although since then the company has been restructured.  ‘Novacta’ is now comprised of four separate companies: a parent company (Novacta Holdings Ltd), and three separate intellectual property holding companies. References to Novacta here refer to OT4’s combined holding in all four companies.  The company uses proprietary microbial technologies and enzymes (biotransformation and pathway engineering) to make subtle modifications to complex drugs to optimise their properties such as selectivity, potency and toxicity.   Novacta’s lead programmes are centred around a class of small peptide molecules called lantibiotics, a drug class that until now has been underexploited due to the lack of adequate research tools. Its lead programme, a molecule to address the increasing clinical problems with the ‘superbug’ Clostridium difficile (“C.diff”), has generated extremely good data from pre clinical trials and is now in Phase 1 clinical trial.

Orthogem

Orthogem

 Orthogem - Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Dec 2000
Orthogem - Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Dec 2004
Orthogem - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment May 2007

Orthogem has developed a method for producing a biocompatible, artificial bone graft called TriPore to replace the use of autograft - the patients own bone, allograft - cadaver bone, or xenograft animal bone.

Over the last decade, great efforts have been extended to producing human bone substitutes and with recent horror stories about bones being surreptitiously removed from bodies in morgues and sold into the medical device market, the search for an artificial replacement becomes more urgent.

TriPore blocks and TriPore granules were CE marked in 2006, and approval by the United States FDA was received in 2007.

Oxis Energy

Oxis Energy

Oxis Energy - Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Nov 2000
Oxis Energy - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Nov 2005

Oxis Energy is developing a rechargeable battery with the following exceptional properties:

- Extremely high specific energy density 1.5-2x existing best rechargeable battery

- Wide temperature of operation 0°C to 125°C

- Inherent safety - no control electronics

These properties represent a step change in performance versus existing rechargeable battery technologies and for some markets they will be a key enabling technology, for example, the energy weight ratio specific energy density is pivotal in electric vehicles because the weight of the battery is a significant part of the total vehicle weight.

Commercially, the company is currently focused on three key markets, down-hole oil/gas tools, electric vehicles and power tools. The oil/gas industry currently spends in excess of $100m/year in primary batteries (one time use) in downhole tools.

Oxis ability to operate in a high temperature range and its inherent tolerance to high charge/discharge are critical advantages ' and of course there is significant value because one rechargeable cell has the potential to replace up to 30 primary cells.

The Oxis Team

Plasma Antennas

Plasma Antennas

Plasma Antennas - Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Nov 2001
Plasma Antennas - Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Sep 2004
Plasma Antennas - Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Mar 2005

Plasma Antennas has developed a range of next-generation smart selectable multi-beam antenna technologies for small cell backhaul, broadband wireless access, mesh network and other communications and sensing applications. Based on a set of patented beamforming technologies, these high-performance electronically-steerable antennas are extremely lightweight and compact.

Plasma Antennas

The company is at a very interesting point in its development. Having specialised in very high-end antennas (at up to £50,000 each) for military applications, it is now attracting a great deal of interest from mobile phone operators and trials are in progress with BliNQ, Vodafone and Airspan. The company is valued at the last fundraising share price of 45p per share. OT2 also has a loan of £13,000.

Select Technology Ltd

www.selectec.co.uk

Select Technology- Investment Information for OT1
Date of First Investment Sep 1999
Select Technology- Investment Information for OT2
Date of First Investment Nov 2001
Select Technology- Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Nov 2004
Select Technology- Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Aug 2006

Select Technology specialises in software for photocopiers (now known as MFDs – Multi-function devices – since they scan, fax, email and do other other tasks in addition to photocopying). There are two strands to the business: (1) writing software which sits at the heart of MFDs and which greatly improve the user experience, enabling users to access all software programs to which they are entitled with a single sign on, and giving these programs the same ‘look and feel’, and (2) software distribution: Select is the European master-distributor for PaperCut, a world-leading print-management software product.

As with computers in the 1980s, MFD hardware has become a commodity product with little to choose between the offerings of most companies. Increasingly, what makes customers choose one make in preference to another is the quality and ease of use of the many software programs which run on them. Most MFDs will be on networks, so that, for example, a user may scan a document in London and print it out in New York and Tokyo. The accounting software will need to determine how the cost of this is allocated. Different users will have different usage rights to the software. The MFDs will need to identify users and some will use cards, other PIN numbers, and other biometric scans. Getting everything to work together, and giving everyone a good user experience is non-trivial, which is why there is a need for Select, which has specialised in this area for many years. It has taken a long time, but Select’s financial performance is now improving and sales are increasing.

Payment system at Cardiff University

Superhard Materials

Superhard Materials- Investment Information for OT3
Date of First Investment Feb 2012
Superhard Materials- Investment Information for OT4
Date of First Investment Feb 2012

In early 2012, Lucian Falticeanu, who was employed by Metal Nanopowders discovered a method of treating certain powders to produce a material which is super hard. (Hardness > 45 Gpa – believed to be harder than anything except diamond itself). The powder may be pressed into a shape which is then sintered at very high temperature to produce the end product. This may be electrically machined and also polished if necessary. It is believed that this may have several applications. A new company, Superhard Materials Ltd has been established in which Lucian has a 40% shareholding, to take this forward. The rights to this material, now called Superduride, have been licensed to Precision Ceramics Ltd in Birmingham. Lucian has also joined Precision Ceramics as Technical Director. Precision Ceramics will pay all the costs of manufacture and marketing of Superduride, and Superhard Materials will receive a share of the gross margin on sales.

The first samples have now been supplied to potential customers, and trials should start soon. No orders have been received yet.


Share Price Information and RNS Announcements

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