University spin-out Retroscreen Virology joins junior stock market

Retroscreen Virology Group has joined AIM through an initial public offering (IPO) worth £15 million.

The London-based spin-out from Queen Mary University, which has raised the amount via broker Numis, specialises in viral studies in humans, developing drugs and vaccines for a variety of viral infections.

The business was set up commercialise the academic research of John Oxford in the field of retroviruses, which at the time, was considered to have promise in the fight against HIV/Aids. The initial contract led to further studies with other pharmaceutical companies.

On its admission to the junior market at a price of 80p a share the group has a market cap of £32.8 million.

Retroscreen is being steered by chief executive officer Kym Denny, a veteran of the pharma sector and the former managing director of global research specialists Harrison Clinical Research. Overseeing action at Retroscreen is David Norwood, an ex-foreign exchange trader and the former CEO of stockbroker Beeson Gregory.

IP Group, an intellectual property commercialisation business, is beneficially interested in 9,309,500 ordinary shares in Retroscreen, representing 22.7 per cent of Retroscreen’s enlarged issued share capital, valued at £7.4 million at the placing price of 80 pence per share.

The admission of Retroscreen to AIM will result in an unrealised fair value gain to IP Group of £5.3 million at the placing price.

Funds that have subscribed to the placing include Blackrock, Lansdown Partners and Henderson Global Investors. Shareholder Queen Mary University will see its stake diluted from 8.4 per cent to 4.5 per cent following admission.

Denny comments: ‘It is a very exciting day for Retroscreen, and one which we believe will be transformational for the development of the business.

‘We are all looking forward to developing the unique Retroscreen model and growing the business as a public company alongside our existing and new shareholders.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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