Return to search

Maven leads investment for ADC Bio

Maven Capital Partners is leading a funding round for ADC Bio, a Welsh biotech company. Other investors include Seneca and Finance Wales in addition to the Welsh government, which is providing a grant. The capital will be used to back the construction of a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility that will cost 8 million pounds.


Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), one of the UK’s most active private equity houses, is pleased to announce it is leading an investment in ADC Biotechnology (“ADC Bio”) to support the construction of a dedicated pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at a site in Deeside, North Wales, creating 50 new scientific jobs. The facility will cost £8m to construct, a substantial part of which has been funded by a syndicate of technology investors, which includes Maven VCTs, Seneca and Finance Wales, and the Welsh Government, which is providing a grant.

ADC Bio operates in the highest growth sector within oncology therapeutics and has developed a unique patented Lock-Release technology for the development and manufacture of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC) group of cancer therapies which are designed to specifically target and kill tumour cells. ADCs are the next generation of highly effective anti-cancer drugs which result in reduced side effects compared to conventional chemotherapy and could provide treatment for a wide range of cancers. The Lock-Release technology facilitates greater production efficiencies and a substantial reduction in the capital cost of manufacturing these drugs for commercial sale.

The new facility will allow ADC Bio to complete its highly strategic move into clinical and commercial ADC manufacturing, and convert its already strong customer base, which is currently focussed on manufacturing for R&D applications and includes large pharmaceutical companies, to higher value clinical development work. Many such clients have already confirmed their commitment to using the facility, which ensures an established customer base ready to take up manufacturing capacity on completion.

The worldwide market for the manufacture of ADC clinical trial materials has insufficient capacity and ADC Bio is being asked to supply large quantities of ADCs for use in trials. As a result, ADC Bio anticipates strong demand for the manufacturing facilities from pharmaceutical companies in the US and Europe, particularly given the added value and production efficiencies the Lock-Release technology offers.

The management team, led by CEO Charlie Johnson, have extensive combined industry experience and are among the global leaders in this specialist field, having already successfully established a clinical drug manufacturing facility in Scotland.

Melanie Goward, Investment Director at Maven, said: “ADC Bio is one of the pioneers in manufacturing of oncology therapeutics. We are delighted to be leading the consortium of investors to fund the company’s new innovative clinical facility in Wales, as well as creating highly skilled new jobs in the area. This a hugely exciting time for ADC Bio given the growing global demand for anti-cancer drugs and we have every confidence that the company will benefit from the cost efficiencies of its Lock-Release technology. We look forward to working with Charlie Johnson and his highly skilled team as they grow the already strong customer base.”

Charlie Johnson, CEO at ADC Biotechnology Limited, said: “The investment and development in the new facility will see the creation of a host of new, degree level and above jobs locally. We are very confident about orders and already have confirmation that many of our existing customers will use the new facility for future projects and we expect to add a number of new drug projects from companies in the USA and Europe. It’s really exciting that some of the world’s most advanced therapies will be developed here in the North West and we would like to thank the teams at Maven, Seneca, Finance Wales and the Welsh Government for their support and investment to help fund this project.”

John Davies, Investment Director at Seneca, said: “As an existing investor in ADC Bio, we already have a good understanding of the qualities within the Management team and are confident that the team will be successful in delivering the next phase of the company’s development. The ADC market is one of the fastest growing areas within oncology therapeutics and ADC Bio has already established itself as a market leader through its patented Lock-Release technology. We are looking forward to continuing to support the company and working closely with our fellow consortium members.”

Paul Lee, Deputy Fund Manager, Technology Venture Investments at Finance Wales, said:
“Since our entry investment in 2011, we’ve supported ADC over interim additional rounds, and we are pleased to extend such support as a key participant in the current syndicated round. Moving into GMP manufacture is a major “step change” for ADC’s development and technical offering. ADC is a high growth technology company which is creating highly skilled jobs in north Wales and we’re looking forward to continue working with them as they expand.”

About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP / @maven_cp
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (Maven) is a lower-mid cap private equity house focused on the provision of growth capital and mezzanine finance to SMEs across the UK. It is one of the most active private equity fund managers in the country, managing over £415 million of assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, a number of government-backed regional debt and equity funds, and Maven Investor Partners – a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.

Headquartered in Glasgow, and with other offices throughout the UK, Maven has nationwide coverage of the market for SME finance and is introduced to around 400 deals per year through 20 regionally based investment executives. With over 60 staff and partners, Maven executes a range of private company transactions, offers hands-on proactive portfolio management to investee companies and provides a fully integrated back-office support function to client and third-party fund managers. Since 2009 Maven has invested over £300 million in SMEs across the UK.

About ADC Biotechnology / @ADCBIO
ADC Bio is an innovative biotechnology company developing new process technology to speed, simplify and significantly lower the production costs of the latest generation of anti-cancer blockbuster drugs, Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Formed in 2010, the Company has commercialised and expanded facilities at St Asaph, Denbighshire into an international centre of expertise in the manufacture of ADCs. As specialists in state-of-the-art bio-conjugation techniques and cytotoxin drug-linker synthesis, the Company offers technical services to assist drug developers to deliver next generation ADCs and other biomolecule conjugates. ADC Bio’s proprietary ‘Lock-Release’ technology aims to become a new paradigm in the way ADCs are developed and manufactured, increasing accessibility for patients by helping to contain ADC production complexity and cost. ‘Lock-Release’ technology results in fast, simple and robust conjugation processes, with the potential to eliminate several process steps whilst enhancing product quality.

About Finance Wales
Finance Wales was established by the Welsh Government in 2001 and provides commercial funding to small and medium-sized businesses throughout Wales to enable them to realise their potential for innovation and growth. The company is part of the Finance Wales Group and in 2015-16 the Group invested £63 million through 268 debt-equity investments in growing businesses.

The Finance Wales Group, one of the UK’s largest SME investors, has in excess of £1 billion of funds under management across all SME investment fund and the Help to Buy – Wales scheme. The Group has invested more than £500 million through more than 4,079 investments.

About Seneca Partners
Seneca Partners are specialist funders and advisers to small and medium sized businesses. The exceptional pedigree and experience of the senior investment team, combined with an excellent referral network enables Seneca to maintain a first class deal flow of SME investments which create value for their investors.

Seneca are a senior group of accountants, bankers, stockbrokers and investment and fund management specialists providing investment and corporate advisory services to UK based businesses, individuals, entrepreneurs, charities and trusts. The Seneca stable of companies have invested assets in excess of £500m and in addition are advising on total debt in excess of £2bn via their dedicated banking division.

Seneca provide capital, advice and support to SMEs who are ready to take the next step on their growth journey, with the capability and strength to achieve their plans and reward investors by success delivery. Seneca specialise in supporting profitable businesses who require a cash injection to support their next phase of growth. Seneca have the capacity to provide debt and equity solutions to SMEs with target investment sizes of between £1 million and £3 million, with the ability to provide larger investments for the right opportunities.