Oxford Biomedica hauled in a $68.2 million (£50 million) investment from Serum Life Sciences, a subsidiary of vaccine giant Serum Institute of India, to further develop an advanced manufacturing site as it assists with COVID-19 vaccine production.
Funds from the transaction are slated to be used to further develop its Oxbox, an 84,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxford, into a flexible advanced manufacturing site with several independent cGMP suites. Oxford Biomedica, a U.K. cell and gene therapy group, expects to complete the project by mid-2023 and will add up to 120 new jobs as part of the expansion.
Currently, three suites at the site are churning out COVID-19 vaccines for AstraZeneca, while one other suite makes lentiviral vector-based products for other Oxford partners. AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India are also partnered on the U.K. drug giant's pandemic vaccine.
COVID vaccine production propelled Oxford’s revenues for the six months ended June 30 by 139% from the previous period a year ago. Revenues jumped from $46.4 million (£34 million) during the first half of last year to $111 million (£81.3 million) in 2021's first half, the company reported earlier this week.
“This investment will allow us to expand capacity at Oxbox at a time when our business development pipeline has never looked stronger,” John Dawson, chief executive of Oxford, said in a statement.
In exchange for the funding, Oxford Biomedica granted Serum Life Sciences 3.9% of its outstanding shares.
Last week, Serum Life Science unveiled an agreement to take a 15% stake in Biocon Biologics that the company valued at $4.9 billion. As part of the deal, Serum will receive access to 100 million doses of vaccines a year, including COVID-19 vaccines.