Shares start trading in Fusion Antibodies as Belfast firm floats on AIM

Dr Paul Kerr of Fusion Antibodies, which has floated on the London AIM market
Gary McDonald Business Editor

SHARES in Dunmurry-based clinical research firm Fusion Antibodies have begun trading on London's second-tier stock market.

Fusion, a contract research organisation providing a range of antibody engineering services for the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications, has been admitted to the Alternative Investment Market.

The company, established in 2001 as a spin-out from Queen’s University, has successfully raised £5.5 million through the conditional placing of 6,707,317 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 82p.

It will use the money to fund the expansion of its existing laboratory space, increase its sales and marketing efforts, for the development of the new service lines, as well as providing additional working capital. In addition, £1.1 million has been raised for selling shareholders.

The new ordinary shares represent just over 30 per cent of the enlarged share capital on admission, and selling shareholders have sold 1,310,976 existing ordinary shares as part of the placing.

Fusion has a £18.1 million market capitalisation on admission at the placing price

The company was initially a drug development business but revised its operations to focus on contract research work in 2011.

In its last two trading years Fusion has recorded profits, with annual sales of £1.9 million during the year to March, and had an order book of £1.3 million as at September 30.

The company has a highly experienced management team with a combined 47 years’ experience in the bio-pharma industry, led by chief executive Dr Paul Kerr.

He said “We are very pleased with the level of interest generated from new institutional investors in support of our admission to trading on AIM.

"We have established Fusion as a multi-service CRO for antibody engineering and humanisation, and cell line development for the world’s largest developers of antibody-based therapeutics drugs and diagnostics companies.

"The move to AIM and the additional funding will allow us to continue this growth trajectory by expanding our capacity and developing our offering of new, high value, market differentiating products.”

Fusion is hoping to imitate Northern Ireland’s two other publicly-listed (both software) companies on the London Stock Exchange – First Derivatives (listed on AIM with a market capitalisation of £930m) and Kainos Group (listed on the main market with a capitalisation of around £370m).

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