A record amount of investment in new ventures from the Medical Sciences Division went into 7 spinouts, with ongoing consulting deals for the academics involved. The first round investment raised – £25m – is unprecedented, and led to a Financial Times article highlighting a record round of fundraising for UK academic spinouts.
OUI’s support for the Division went far beyond traditional licencing and company formation. We concluded follow-on licencing deals with existing spinout companies Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, Nightstar and Oxehealth allowing them to incorporate additional University IP into their products.
Nightstar, which specialises in developing gene therapies for hereditary sight-threatening disorders, raised an additional $35m which allows it to continue clinical development of its gene therapy for choroideremia and to advance multiple retinal gene therapy programs into human trials.
Also addressing eyesight, OxSight’s smart glasses offer independence and improved quality of life for the sight-impaired, with potential to reduce the £250m annual estimated cost of visual impairment in the UK. This technology utilises a camera system and computer vision algorithms to detect and highlight objects, and was spun out with the support of a Chinese angel investor.