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07 Apr 2021 | 11:24

Vaccitech files for IPO in US - report

(Sharecast News) - Vaccitech, the biotech startup that owns technology behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, has filed for an initial public offering in the US, the Financial Times reported. The Oxford-based company was co-founded by Sarah Gilbert, who led development of AstraZeneca's vaccine. It has confidentially filed for an IPO and could price the shares as early as this month, the FT said.

Vaccitech is tapping into investor demand for innovation highlighted by the Covid-19 crisis. Shares in Moderna, which produces another vaccine, and BioNTech, which helped Pfizer develop its jab, have surged in the past year.

The UK company recently raised $168m of investment that valued it at about $450m, the FT said. Investors included M&G, the UK Treasury and Alphabet's investment division, GV.

AstraZeneca has the commercial licence for the Covid-19 vaccine and is producing it at no profit during the pandemic. When the pandemic ends, Oxford will get 6% of revenue with Vaccitech receiving an undisclosed share.

The vaccine has been affected by concerns about blood clots in a relatively small number of people who have received the jab. The UK and EU regulators have said the inoculation is safe but are carrying out further risk assessments.

Vaccitech is developing a booster jab for people who have already had the AstraZeneca vaccine. Boosters are likely to be needed to maintain immunity to the virus as it evolves.

The company is also working on treatments for other diseases including Mers and shingles, as well as treatment for cancer.
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