Fusion Antibodies signs off on 'significant' US deal

Gary McDonald Business Editor

BELFAST-headquartered Fusion Antibodies has signed off on a what it says is a "very significant" deal with an unnamed but key player in the US biotech industry.

The agreement has a minimum contract value of $1.83 million (about £1.34 million) with a client which is financially backed by a US-based biotechnology investment company active in life science investments.

Listed pharmaceutical contract research firm Fusion, a spin-out from Queen's University, will provide its discovery and engineering services in relation to the R&D of several pre-determined projects.

It will receive a minimum of $1.83m of fees over the next two years for the provision of its initial agreed scope of services.

Fusion Antibodies chief executive Richard Jones said: “We're delighted to have agreed this important new contract with a key player in the biotech industry, which has a minimum contract value of $1.83 million, which is very significant.

“Furthermore, we are especially pleased that the project will take place using our affinity maturation RAMP platform, highlighting that this technology continues to gain traction in the marketplace.”

Subject to the outcome of the works undertaken, there is a framework for increased fee for service work within the agreement.

The client - which at this stage is unable to be named for reasons of commercial sensitivity - has made an initial cash payment of $318,000 to Fusion, with the remaining consideration payable at pre-agreed intervals.

Should a product be successfully developed, registered and commercialised, Fusion will be fully entitled to royalty payments based on a percentage of sales figures of that product.

Fusion Antibodies, which employs 55 people at Springbank industrial estate in west Belfast, are specialists in pre-clinical antibody discovery, engineering and supply for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications.

Its annual results posted in August showed that full year revenues increased by 7 per cent to £4.2 million (up from £3.9m in 2020), and while its losses quadrupled from £700,000 to £2.9m, it is sitting on cash reserves of £2.7m, which it is ploughing back into the business by way or research and development.

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