chippenham2_lib_bg_167x167sideBackVectura was formed as a spin out company in 1997 by Sir Chris to commercialise respiratory pharmaceutical technologies originating from the University of Bath. The company achieved astonishing growth from its initial valuation of $1 million. It floated on AIM in 2004 for $60m and grew to a valuation of $511m by 2006. It became a FTSE 250 company in 2009.

Following initial seed funding by Merlin Ventures, numerous co-investors were brought into the business including Northern Ventures, Friends Ivory and Sime and West LB.

Vectura was originally formed by Sir Chris’s Merlin Ventures and a investment of $2.7m followed from funds managed by Sir Chris Evans. The company was a spin-out from the University of Bath and was formed to develop and commercialise technologies in the fast- growing pulmonary drug delivery field. Its key focus was in the pulmonary drug delivery field and the developoment of a range of inhaled therapies and devices.

Vectura now has eight products marketed by its partners and a portfolio of drugs in clinical and pre-clinical development, some of which have been licensed to major pharmaceutical companies. Vectura also offers its formulation and inhalation technologies to other pharmaceutical companies on a licensing basis where this complements Vectura’s business strategy. It has partnerships with all of the key multinational players including GSK, Baxter, Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim. In 2005, Vectura announced a $400m deal with Novartis on one of its COPD projects.

vectura_gyrohaler_178x194Growth in the business has been one of the greatest ever successes for the University of Bath and is seen as a modern day example of how exceptional technology, when combined with quality professional management and entrepreneurial flair, can produce a major new company in its field. Vectura is now heralded as one of the most prominent of British biosciences companies. It has grown in the last 5 years from less than $7m revenues to over $45m and is profitable. It has over $80m of cash stockpiled on its balance sheet at a market capitalisation of almost $510m during 2010. It has grown from an initial 5 employees to over 250 and is viewed by many as one of Britain’s strongest biotech businesses.