Validated by early COVID shot investment, Oxford Science Enterprises clinches £250M for emerging science and spinouts

Oxford Science Enterprises has already proven its foresight as a founding investor in Vaccitech, the biotech that co-developed AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. Now the independent investment company has raised a further 250 million pounds sterling ($300 million).

The latest funds bring the total accrued by the venture capital firm, which was formed in 2015 to fund and build new spinouts based on emerging science from the U.K.'s Oxford University, to more than 850 million pounds ($1 billion). The recent fundraiser involved a diverse group of unnamed international investors, including both existing and new participants, according to a July 18 release.

The money will let the VC provide not only initial funding for new sciences, but also hands-on research support, global network connections and start-up infrastructure. To date, the company’s investments have helped 27 companies move from seed financing to series A rounds, and 21 to series B and beyond—including two IPOs and five trade exits.  

The new £250 million pot of cash will also support Oxford Science Enterprises' existing portfolio, which consists of 40 companies across life sciences, health tech and deep tech sectors.

In 2016, the VC funneled money into Vaccitech’s research that would become the foundation for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The shot now accounts for 98% of vaccines provided by the World Health Organization’s vaccine initiative COVAX.

Other investments to its name include Base Genomics, which was acquired by Exact Sciences in 2020 for $410 million; OMass Therapeutics, which raised $100 million in April for its pipeline of immunology and rare disease drugs; and MiroBio, which closed a $97 million series B this June for its pipeline of immune checkpoint agonists for autoimmune diseases.