Frontier IP scores on sale of Exscientia shares

Early-stage investor Frontier IP has booked a seven-figure profit on the sale of stock in Exscientia, a spin-out firm from the University of Dundee that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help pharmaceutical companies speed up the way new medicines are discovered and developed.

Edinburgh-based Frontier has generated an estimated gain of more than £1.4 million on the sale of 207,299 American Depositary Shares of Exscientia at an average price of $20.63 per share. Total proceeds of £3.2m from the sale, which took place between February 1 and February 11, compare to their most recent book value of £1.75m.

The disposal of the latest tranche of stock follows a similar exercise in January, when Frontier sold 183,901 depositary shares at an average price of $21.68, netting £2.9m.

READ MORE: Edinburgh business Frontier IP hails its progress as profits increase

In total Frontier has generated a gain of £2.79m on the sale of Exscientia depositary shares – which trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market – during the current year to June 30. Frontier, which specialises in the commercialisation of intellectual property, continues to hold more than 1.17 million shares in Exscientia.

Now headquartered in Oxford with offices in Dundee, Miami, Boston, Vienna and Osaka, Exscientia made a loss of £33.1m on revenues of £23.2m during the nine months to September 30.

On January 7 the company announced an overhaul of its long-standing partnership with French healthcare giant Sanofi, scoring an upfront cash payment of $100m (£74m) and the promise of up to $5.2 billion (£3.9bn) in further milestones and royalties. The money will be used to ramp up joint work to develop 15 novel small molecule drug candidates in oncology and immunology.

Shares in AIM-listed Frontier closed unchanged yesterday at 96p.

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