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Oxonica plc ("Oxonica"), a leading international nanomaterials group, today announces that it has signed a strategic agreement relating to its Nanoplex™ technology with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company headquartered in New Jersey, USA.
This agreement follows on from the licence agreement signed with BD in August 2006 and subsequent technology development agreements and is in line with the Oxonica Board's strategy announced on 17th March 2008, when it appointed ThinkPanmure to evaluate strategic alternatives for the diagnostics business. Under the terms of the assignment and licence agreement, BD will pay Oxonica a total of up to US$ 7 million. Of that, US$ 3.5 million is payable on signing the agreement in exchange for the assignment to BD of the patents covering Oxonica's Nanoplex™ technology, related know-how and the Nanoplex™ trademark. A further $3.5 million is payable on Oxonica completing certain technical transfer milestones. In addition, BD will make payments to Oxonica on sales of BD products covered by the Nanoplex™ patents, such payments will replace the original license agreement.
As a result of this transaction, BD will assume the responsibility and costs associated with prosecuting the patent portfolio and will also take responsibility for the manufacture of the Nanoplex™ tags for its own requirements. This will allow Oxonica to achieve a significant reduction in operating expenses.
Oxonica has been granted a royalty free, exclusive licence to continue to use the technology in the fields of industrial and homeland security and to continue to evaluate opportunities in in vivo diagnostics, agriculture (excluding veterinary) and fine chemicals.
Commenting on today's announcement, Richard Farleigh, Chairman, said:
"The announcement of this strategic agreement with BD is a major step towards achieving Oxonica's strategy. We have developed the technology to the point where BD can commercialise the technology. Oxonica can now further focus its resources on its major growth opportunities including security."
About Oxonica plc
Oxonica (AIM: OXN.L) is one of the leading international nanomaterials groups with products already launched into international markets and is listed in London on the AIM market. It was spun-out from Oxford University in 1999. Oxonica's mission is to focus on the development of innovative commercial solutions for international markets using its expertise in the design and application of nanomaterials. It owns a portfolio of demand driven products that offer substantial benefits to the target markets of energy, materials, security and diagnostics.
The Group currently has four operating businesses: Oxonica Energy, Oxonica Materials, Oxonica Security and Oxonica Diagnostics. Oxonica has already launched products into international markets. Lead products include:
· Envirox™ fuel borne catalyst – a catalyst improving fuel economy and reducing emissions
· Optisol™ UV absorber – a revolutionary photostable UV protection system designed to optimise the performance of quality sunscreens and anti-premature aging products
Oxonica's assigned Nanoplex™ technology is based on gold nanoparticles with a unique label on the surface of the particle. This "tag" can be attached to a wide range of biological markers, facilitating subsequent identification of the markers.
The value of the assets of Oxonica's Nanoplex™ technology, related know-how and the Nanoplex™ trademark at 31 December 2007 was £1,308,000. This represents the net book value of the SERS technology and includes both the assigned assets and the rights retained by Oxonica which have not been accounted for separately. The Diagnostics business (which is the Nanoplex™ technology to be transferred to BD) generated losses before tax of £1,368,000 for the year ended 31 December 2007. The proceeds of up to US$ 7 million will be used for general working capital purposes.
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Oxonica plc 01865 856 700
Kevin Matthews, Chief Executive
Richard Clarke, Finance Director
The Broadcast PR Business 020 7469 4036
Panmure Gordon 020 7459 3600
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