Frontier sells $4m shares in Dundee spinout Exscientia

Frontier IP CEO Neil Crabb

Shares of Edinburgh-based Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising university intellectual property, rose about 6% after it said it sold 183,901 American Depositary Shares (ADSs) of portfolio company Exscientia plc at an average price of $21.68 per ADS for net proceeds of $4 million.

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.

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

Following the Exscientia share sales, Frontier IP will have a remaining investment of about 1.38 million shares in Exscientia worth more than $20 million.

“The book value of the ADSs sold as at 30 June 2021, being the last published balance sheet of the group, was £1.55 million and the Exscientia share sales have generated an estimated realised gain of £1.38 million for Frontier IP in the current financial year to 30 June 2022,” said Frontier IP.

“Following the Exscientia share sales, Frontier IP will be interested in 1,380,899 shares in Exscientia.

“The directors of Frontier IP intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of ADSs in Exscientia for general working capital purposes and to provide further support to the group’s existing portfolio companies.

“Exscientia uses artificial intelligence (AI) to modernise the way new medicines are discovered and developed, aiming to deliver medicines faster than industry standards.

“Exscientia has built a complete end-to-end solution of AI and experimental technologies for target identification, drug candidate design, translational models and patient selection.

“ADSs of Exscientia trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

“Each ADS represents one ordinary share in Exscientia.

“On 7 January 2022, Exscientia 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.

“Exscientia announced its third quarter results to 30 September 2021 on 17 November 2021.

“These showed that based on unaudited financials for the nine months ended 30 September 2021, Exscientia generated revenue of £23.2 million and a loss before taxation of £33.1 million.”