IP Group plc – Expands relationship with the University of Oxford

17 Jan 2011

Alliance with and acquisition of strategic stake in Technikos, an LLP with a commercialisation agreement with Oxford University's Institute of Biomedical Engineering

IP Group plc (LSE: IPO) ("IP Group" or "the Group"), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, is pleased to announce that it has broadened its relationship with the University of Oxford through the acquisition of a strategic stake and alliance with Technikos LLP ("Technikos"). Technikos is a specialist medical technology fund with a long term commercialisation agreement with the University of Oxford's Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME). The alliance augments IP Group's existing relationship with the University of Oxford.

Under the terms of the agreement, IP Group, which already has a long-term commercialisation agreement with the University of Oxford's Department of Chemistry, will assist Technikos to spin-out companies from the IBME. In addition, IP Group will provide the Technikos team with access to its commercialisation, capital markets and scientific expertise. The financial terms of the agreement remain undisclosed.

The IBME is a world-renowned research institute focused on bio-medical image analysis, bio-medical signal processing, bio-medical ultrasonics, drug and vaccine delivery, fluid mechanics, orthopaedics bio-medical engineering and tissue engineering and bio-processing. To date, Technikos has spun-out five companies from the IBME, including Eykona Limited and OrganOx Limited.

IP Group's existing partnership agreement with the Department of Chemistry has seen three companies floated on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange and the creation of a further eleven spin-out companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited, which has raised £50m to date for the development of a revolutionary technology for direct, electronic detection and analysis of single molecules whose lead application is DNA sequencing. To date, IP Group and its managed funds have invested £13m in Oxford spin-out companies and the companies have raised in excess of £180m.

Commenting on the transaction, Alan Aubrey, IP Group's Chief Executive Officer, said: "This investment in and agreement with Technikos is a highly complementary and logical fit for IP Group. It strengthens and deepens our existing relationship with the University of Oxford, providing access to intellectual property from another of Oxford's leading institutions, whilst also being on similar terms to IP Group's original groundbreaking partnership agreement with the Department of Chemistry. We are proud of our long-standing association with Oxford and our track record of commercialisation there and are excited to have this opportunity to assist Technikos and the IBME. We are looking forward to developing a close working relationship with the Technikos team in helping to identify and commercialise a new generation of exciting Oxford University science."

Commenting on today's announcement, Stephen Brindle, a partner with Technikos, said, "I am delighted to be working alongside the IP Group as they have proven expertise in early stage investing and generating returns for investors. In addition, I am convinced that by leveraging our Oxford "platform" in this way, we can increase and accelerate investment for our existing portfolio and pipeline companies".

IP Group was founded following the signature of the UK's first exclusive university spin-out commercialisation agreement with the University of Oxford's Department of Chemistry in 2000. In return for an investment of approximately £20 million, IP Group acquired the right to 50 per cent of the University's equity in spin-out companies and technology licences based on intellectual property created at the Department over a 15 year period.

The Group now has 10 exclusive, long-term university partnership agreements in the UK and has also signed a strategic co-investment deal with Fusion IP plc ("Fusion IP") which gives IP Group co-investment rights in all future Fusion portfolio companies. Fusion IP owns the exclusive commercialisation rights to 100 per cent of university-owned intellectual property generated at two of the UK's leading universities – the University of Sheffield and Cardiff University.

Technikos signed a 17 year commercial partnership agreement with the IBME in 2006. In return for an initial investment of £12 million and the provision of commercial and financial advice and assistance, Technikos acquired the right to 50 per cent of the University's equity in spin-out companies and technology licences based on intellectual property created at the IBME.

IP Group and Technikos are the only two organisations to have signed exclusive commercialisation agreements with the University of Oxford to date.

For the purposes of Rule 10.3.2 of the Listing Rules, the value of the gross assets acquired by the Group based on the audited financial statements of Technikos LLP as at 31 October 2009, as prepared under UK GAAP, is £2m.

For more information, please contact:

IP Group
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer
Mike Townend, Director of Capital Markets
+44 (0) 20 7444 0050
+44 (0) 20 7444 0050
Financial Dynamics  
Ben Atwell, John Dineen +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
Stephen Brindle +44 (0) 7920 493 030

Notes for editors

About IP Group

IP Group is an intellectual property (IP) commercialisation company that specialises in commercialising university technology. Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AIM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006. It has made two acquisitions to date – Techtran, a company set up to commercialise university intellectual property under a long term contract with the University of Leeds, in 2005 and Top Technology Ventures, an investment adviser to early stage technology venture capital funds, in 2004.

IP Group has formed long-term partnerships with ten universities – the University of Oxford, King's College London, CNAP/University of York, the University of Leeds, the University of Bristol, the University of Surrey, the University of Southampton, Queen Mary (University of London), the University of Bath and the University of Glasgow.

The Company's portfolio is diverse with exposure to five main sectors – Energy & Renewables, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Pharma & Biotech, IT & Communications and Chemicals & Materials. To date, thirteen portfolio companies have listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, one on PLUS Markets and there have been five trade sales.

For more information, please visit our website at

About Technikos

Technikos is a London based venture capital fund specialising in medical technology. In 2006 Technikos entered into a long term commercial partnership with Oxford University's Institute of Biomedical Engineering. The Technikos portfolio currently comprises five companies. There are a further two spin-out opportunities from the IBME in the pipeline that are expected to be incorporated in 2011.