British biotechnology rushes to cash in on Covid vaccine success

British biotechnology rushes to cash in on Covid vaccine success

The coronavirus pandemic was in its early stages and an effective vaccine against the disease was still a distant hope, when the Jenner Institute in Oxford came to Oxford Biomedica for help.

The British biotech group expected to spend the year expanding its list of partners in cell and gene therapy.

Instead, he was drafted into the Oxford Vaccine Research Unit to perform his nascent coronavirus inoculation and, although he continued with other work, was propelled to the center of the one of the biggest global initiatives to tame the pandemic.

John Dawson, Managing Director, recalled the board’s discussion of whether the company should take on the additional responsibility: “We decided that we would like to play a role in the interest of mankind, but we won’t let our core business suffer in the slightest bit, “he said.

Now Oxford Biomedica – which was listed on the main London Stock Exchange 20 years ago – is at an inflection point. He is looking to reinvest some of the money he has earned from the vaccine into his own drug portfolio. But it must convince investors long satisfied with the steady returns generated by its core contract manufacturing business that bringing pioneer drugs to market can yield even greater benefits.

Biotechnology’s own R&D has taken a back seat since 2013, when it signed a lucrative contract with Novartis to manufacture the breakthrough gene therapy from Swiss blood cancer pharmaceutical group Kymriah. The process depended on …


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