17th December 2014

Q Chip acquired by nanomedicine specialist Midatech Pharma

Q Chip, a pharmaceutical company that specialises in the development of cancer therapy and opthalamology products has been acquired by a Europe-wide nanomedicine business.

Oxford-based Midatech Pharma announced the completion of the acquisition of Q Chip, based in Cardiff, following its admission to trading on AIM earlier this week.

Midatech said it has acquired Q Chip to support “novel delivery platforms and product developments in cancer, diabetes and ophthalmology.”

Q Chip has developed a complementary technology and products that allow the sustained release of substances over extended periods of time, and will provide a platform to incorporate Midatech’s gold nanoparticle (GNP) compounds for sustained and extended release.

The Q Chip acquisition also adds further programmes in cancer and ophthalmology based on the sustained release platform to the company’s existing portfolio in cancer, diabetes and neuroscience.

Q Chip’s chairman Dr Simon Turton and CEO Dr Tim Sparey said in a joint statement: “We are delighted that Midatech and Q Chip will combine. The enlarged group will have complementary technologies, products and management with the potential to deliver further value for investors and new innovative products for patients.”

Dr Turton will join the board of Midatech Pharma as the senior independent non-executive director, and Dr Sparey will join Midatech as chief business officer.

Q Chip has been funded to date by Finance Wales, Disruptive Capital Finance and individual investors, including an angel syndicate including both Simon Turton and non-executive director, Ken Powell.

Dr Jim Philips, CEO of Midatech Pharma, said: “Midatech is progressing an exciting portfolio of product development programmes towards commercialisation based on our GNP technology platform for targeted drug delivery.

“The acquisition of Q Chip brings further value to our product offering, adding a complementary technology platform and a range of additional advanced product programmes that have the potential to deliver accelerated revenue streams. We also welcome the Q Chip team and look forward to advancing our platforms and products towards commercialisation.”

Midatech raised £32m through a share issue on its admission to AIM this week. In addition an existing investor subscribed £1.9m.

Significant new shareholders include Woodford Fund Management Limited with a 19.99% holding after listing, Arrowgrass Capital Partners LLP (5.3%), Legal & General Investment Management Limited (4.0%) and Octopus Investments Limited (3.6%).

Midatech was incorporated in September as the holding company of Midatech Limited and Q Chip Limited. The group employs 49 staff, 14 in its UK head office in Oxford, 17 in Cardiff, and 18 in Bilbao, Spain.

Midatech is a nanomedicine company developing and commercialising multiple therapeutic products to enhance the delivery of medicines in major diseases with high unmet medical needs.

These diseases include diabetes, certain cancers such as liver, ovarian and brain, and neurological/ophthalmologic conditions, most of which have multi-million or multi-billion dollar markets.

The group’s two platform technologies are designed to enable targeted delivery and sustained release of existing therapeutic drugs.

It is collaborating with universities, speciality and major pharmaceutical companies to develop its platform technologies into a broad number of products in order to achieve a range of potential revenue opportunities in priority therapeutic areas.

It is also pursuing improved forms of cancer therapy based on combining chemotherapeutic medicines with tumour-targeting molecules. The aim is to allow highly toxic drugs to be specifically targeted and delivered to tumour cells while sparing normal tissue, reducing side effects and enhancing efficacy.

The group operates an in-house nanoparticle manufacturing facility, based in Bilbao. A consortium led by Midatech has recently been selected to receive a €7.9m EU grant to fund the manufacturing scale-up of clinical-grade therapeutics for use in clinical trials and in preparation for commercial production.

Midatech was advised on the acquisition of Q Chip by Panmure Gordon (UK), Brown Rudnick LLP and BDO LLP. Q Chip was advised by Theobald Associates and Geldards LLP.