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Oxford Capital and Oxitec shortlisted for Exit of the Year

Intelligent Partnership has named Oxford Capital’s sale of Oxitec as a finalist for Exit of the Year at the Growth Investor Awards. The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony in November.

Oxitec is a company that could save and improve lives all around the world. It has the potential to do so in part because it received EIS funding, and it had the support of Oxford Capital as it transitioned from university spinout to commercial enterprise.

The acquisition of the company by Intrexon Inc in August 2015, in a deal which valued Oxitec at more than £100m, gives Oxitec a platform to continue expanding its business, addressing health challenges in numerous countries. Oxitec’s story shows how EIS can be a powerful catalyst, turning the UK’s scientific expertise into valuable and globally important companies.

The Zika crisis has recently shone the spotlight on Oxitec and its extraordinary approach to controlling disease-carrying insects. Oxitec breeds male mosquitos that cannot survive to reproductive age. When released into local populations, these sterile insects mate with native females, diminishing the next generation. The technology has the potential to address not just Zika, but other insect-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, as well as controlling insects that destroy food supplies. It can replace chemical pesticides, which are less effective than Oxitec’s solution and cause damage far beyond the target species.

The Growth Investor Awards programme is guided by an Advisory Board including angel investor and entrepreneur Sherry Coutu CBE, Co-founder of the Scale Up Institute; Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners; Claire Cockerton, Founder and Ambassador of Innovate Finance; Tim Hames, Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA); Emma Jones MBE, CEO of Enterprise Nation; Simon Devonshire OBE, Entrepreneur in Residence at BIS; and Michael Hayman MBE, Co-founder of Seven Hills.

Commenting on the importance of schemes like EIS, and recognising the impact of the investment management industry through the Growth Investor Awards, Luke Johnson said: “Incentives like the Enterprise Investment Scheme have supported Britain’s economic recovery by enabling high growth businesses to scale – creating jobs and wealth while generating tax revenue for infrastructure that we all benefit from. The SME investment management community plays a vital role in ensuring that investment is best deployed – in talent, technology and R&D. The Growth Investor Awards provide an important national platform to demonstrate the value of this impact.”