WuXi AppTec acquires UK gene therapy company Oxgene

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags cell and gene therapy

WuXi AppTec has completed its acquisition of Oxgene, a UK contract research and development organization that designs and develops scalable gene therapy technologies.

Oxgene – which will retain its name – will become a fully-owned subsidiary of WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU): which is Shanghai-headquartered Wuxi AppTech’s cell and gene therapy Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO) business unit. 

It will be the unit’s first facility in Europe.

Scaling up tech

Oxford biotech Oxgene was founded in 2011. It offers discovery and biomanufacturing solutions to the cell and gene therapy industries through novel technologies and contract research solutions; as well as manufacturing systems. Its novel TESSA technology for adeno-associated viral (AAV) manufacturing and XLenti stable solutions for lentiviral manufacturing are designed to simplify cell and gene therapy manufacturing while reducing costs. 

The company has seen 100% year-on-year revenue growth for the last three consecutive years.

“This is a really exciting time for Oxgene, and a really exciting time for the cell and gene therapy industry too,” ​Ryan Cawood, founder and CEO of the company, told us.

“The potential benefits of genomic medicine to mankind are transformative. Delivering these efficiently, cost-effectively and globally will represent a real step change in world health. And this acquisition is a significant step towards making that possible.

Joining WuXi ATU will mean the combined business can scale up Oxgene’s technologies; thus improving the scale and cost of brining cell and gene therapies to market.

“Oxgene is recognized for pushing the envelope of gene therapy platforms by developing innovative alternatives, such as TESSA and XLenti stable technologies,” ​continued Cawood. “Joining WuXi ATU will give our customers access to both our technology portfolio, and WuXi’s manufacturing capabilities, accelerating the development of their cell and gene therapies.”

The leadership team and staff at Oxgene will remain in place following the acquisition.

WuXi ATU’s integrated platforms work on the development, testing, manufacturing, and commercialization of cell and gene therapy products, aiming to accelerate their time to market. 

Dr. David Chang, Chief Executive Officer of WuXi ATU, said: “By combining WuXi ATU’s world-class cell and gene therapy CTDMO platform with OXGENE’s innovative capabilities, we will be able to provide transformative solutions for our customers.  This business combination represents a significant step in our ongoing effort to enable our customers and partners worldwide to deliver more effective and accessible advanced therapies to patients globally.”

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