Frontier IP strong first half boosted by Exscientia IPO

Frontier IP CEO Neil Crabb

Shares of Edinburgh-based Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising university intellectual property, rose about 4% on Wednesday after the firm said it enjoyed a strong first half of the financial year in particular due to the Nasdaq IPO of portfolio company Exscientia plc.

Frontier said Exscientia announced on January 7 a strategic research collaboration with Sanofi “that will entitle Exscientia to an upfront cash payment of $100 million with the potential for $5.2 billion in total milestones plus tiered royalties.”

Exscientia, an AI-driven drug discovery firm, was originally a spinout company from the University of Dundee and now has offices in Oxford, Dundee, Miami and Osaka.

Frontier IP said it has now commenced a programme to sell part of its shareholding in Exscientia.

Shares of Frontier IP, which also has offices in Cambridge and London, have risen about 50% in last 12 months.

Frontier IP said in October the Exscientia IPO raised gross proceeds of $304.7 million.

“Frontier IP … is today providing a trading update ahead of publication of its interim results for the six months to 31 December 2021 which are expected to be released in March 2022,” said Frontier.

“The group has enjoyed a strong first half to the financial year in particular due to the IPO on the Nasdaq Global Select Market of portfolio company Exscientia plc during the period.

“Exscientia reported a strong set of quarterly results post admission and, on 7 January 2022, announced a strategic research collaboration with Sanofi that will entitle Exscientia to an upfront cash payment of $100 million with the potential for $5.2 billion in total milestones plus tiered royalties.

“The uplift in book value of this holding as at 31 December 2021 is expected to make a significant contribution to the performance of the group in H1 2022.

“Further to the release of the group’s full year results in October 2021, Frontier IP has now commenced a programme to realise part of its shareholding in Exscientia.

“As at the date of this announcement a small portion has been sold in January 2022 and the group will provide a further update at the appropriate time.

“The group’s portfolio as a whole has continued to show strong commercial and technical progress and a number of the companies are reaching key inflection points.

“During the period The Vaccine Group announced encouraging data on the development of its next generation COVID-19 vaccine, Camgraphic completed a fundraising and management was strengthened at Pulsiv.

“This momentum is continuing into 2022 and yesterday we were pleased to note Celerum launching its Truck Logistics System at a time when supply chain challenges are high on the priority list for many businesses.

“While it is clear there are many challenges facing markets and industry, we anticipate reporting a set of results for H1 2022 ahead of management expectations and continuing to build on progress in the balance of the financial year.

“We remain confident on the group’s prospects for the remainder of the financial year and beyond.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.