Half year results: Growth strategy progressing - Abzena

Half year results: Growth strategy progressing

Cambridge, UK, 12 December 2017 – Abzena plc (AIM: ABZA, ‘Abzena’ or the ‘Group’), a life sciences group providing services and technologies enabling the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, publishes its half year results for the six months to 30 September 2017.


Investment programme progressing in line with the growth strategy including:

  • Upgrading of the biomanufacturing platform in San Diego through installation of stirred tank bioreactors,
  • Lease anticipated on new premises to consolidate San Diego operations into one state-of-the-art facility,
  • Remodelling of space in the Group’s Bristol facility to create a GMP bioconjugation suite and additional process chemistry labs to support synthetic chemistry manufacturing, and
  • Expected to move into new premises on Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge UK shortly to provide additional capacity for biology research services.

Group revenue increased to £9.6 million (H1 2017: £9.0 million), in line with the trading statement of September 2017

Gross profit was £4.0 million (H1 2017: £3.8 million), with gross service margin, excluding reimbursed manufacturing materials, of 44%

Adjusted EBITDA loss of £7.0 million (H1 2017: £3.1 million) and reported loss of £8.0 million (H1 2017: £4.0 million)

Raised £23.8 million (net of expenses) in April 2017 to fund capability enhancement and capacity expansion expected to be completed in FY20

Cash and cash equivalents of £16.9 million at 30 September 2017 (31 March 2017: £4.1 million)

ThioBridge™ technology and Composite Human Antibody product licence agreements signed with OBI Pharma Inc (Taiwan) and Telix Pharmaceuticals (Australia) respectively, with aggregate potential licence fees and milestone payments in excess of £150 million. These will become payable on achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, plus potential royalties on ThioBridge™ ADC products

Post period end

  • Master services agreement secured for ADC manufacturing programme valued at more than $5 million with US biotech company
  • Installation of Sartorius stirred tank bioreactors for process development complete at San Diego facility and 500L GMP bioreactor to be installed imminently
  • Lease negotiated for 50,000 square foot building in San Diego to enable establishment of new GMP biomanufacturing facility as existing lease approaches expiry. New facility enables installation of 2000L bioreactors and co-location of process development and manufacturing groups. Partnership under negotiation with major biomanufacturing solution provider to equip and supply the facility in capital efficient manner

Dr John Burt, CEO of Abzena, commented:

“As previously reported in our September trading update, revenue growth in the first half was lower than initially expected. However, Abzena continues on its growth trajectory that, enabled by the investment secured this year and execution of the investment plans across our international business, is helping to establish Abzena as a significant solution provider for biopharmaceutical development of meaningful scale and impact.

The recently announced ADC manufacturing agreement and other ongoing programmes utilise multiple facets of our integrated offering. These agreements indicate that our pharma and biotech customers appreciate the value and breadth of our solutions. As we start to realise the benefits of our investment programme, we are increasingly able to support our customers’ development programmes all the way through into clinical trials.

With the increased capabilities and expanded capacity coming online, we expect Abzena to continue to see increasing revenues on our path to scale and profitability.”

The full results are available here.



Abzena plc

John Burt, Chief Executive Officer

Julian Smith, Chief Financial Officer

+44 1223 903498

Numis (Nominated Adviser and Broker)

Clare Terlouw / James Black / Paul Gillam

+44 20 7260 1000

N+1 Singer (Joint Broker)

Aubrey Powell / Liz Yong

+44 20 7496 3000

Instinctif Partners

Melanie-Toyne Sewell / Alex Shaw

+44 20 7457 2020


Notes to Editors

About Abzena

Abzena (AIM: ABZA) provides proprietary technologies and complementary services to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products.

The term ‘ABZENA Inside’ is used by Abzena to describe products that have been created using its proprietary technologies and are being developed by its partners, and include Composite Human Antibodies™ and ThioBridge™ Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Abzena has the potential to earn future licence fees, milestone payments and/or royalties on ‘ABZENA Inside’ products.

Abzena offers the following services and technologies across its principal sites in Cambridge (UK), San Diego, California (USA) and Bristol, Pennsylvania (USA):

  • Immunology research studies, including immunogenicity assessment of candidate biopharmaceutical products;
  • Protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunised therapeutic proteins;
  • Cell line development for the manufacture of recombinant proteins and antibodies;
  • Contract process development and GMP manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins for preclinical and clinical studies;
  • Contract synthetic chemistry and bioconjugation research services, focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs);
  • Proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies and novel payloads for ADC development; and
  • GMP manufacturer of ADC linkers, payloads & combined linker-payloads.

For more information, please see www.abzena.com.


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