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The University of Southampton

University spin out company Synairgen valued at £28.2 million

Published: 26 October 2004

University of Southampton spin out Synairgen plc was admitted to the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) this morning with a valuation of £28.2million. This follows a successful placement of the company's shares, which raised £10.5million.

In response to strong institutional investor demand the University of Southampton, through its subsidiary Southampton Asset Management, agreed to sell £0.5million (10 per cent) of its shareholding in the company. On admission to AIM the University will hold 16.6 per cent of the shares of the company

Synairgen is a drug discovery company focused on identifying and out-licensing pharmaceutical products, which address the underlying causes of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It was founded in June 2003 by world-renowned asthma scientists from the University of Southampton, Professor Stephen Holgate, Dr Donna Davies and Dr Ratko Djukanovic.

Synairgen is the University's second spin out flotation this year, following that of OHM plc in March. Synairgen and OHM are two of the eleven companies spun out of the University by its highly successful Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI). Another University spin out, Southampton Photonics ranked 38th in the 2004 Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100.

"We are very pleased with the success of Synairgen's flotation and the strong institutional demand for its share placement," said Director of the CEI, Dr Tony Raven. "Following on from the very successful flotation of OHM in March, which has seen a strong after market and reported very good results for the year, the successful flotation and institutional demand for Synairgen's placement underlines the quality of the companies our academics are creating and the management teams they are attracting. It also underlines the success and benefits of our partnership with IP2IPO in supporting and financing the early stages of our spin out companies."

"We are pleased to report strong support by investors for our fundraising which reflects the first-class respiratory research capability of the company and the University of Southampton," commented Simon Shaw, Non-Executive Chairman of Synairgen. "We look forward to reporting on progress as we step up our proprietary and collaborative discovery programmes to address the significant markets of severe asthma and COPD."

"The CEI has certainly influenced our way of looking at enterprise," said Professor Iain Cameron, Head of the School of Medicine which hosts Synairgen's science base. "We are delighted by the success of Synairgen and their experience will help us support more involvement in the enterprise agenda."

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran said: "The flotation of Synairgen confirms Southampton's position as a pathfinder in University enterprise activity and we look forward to developing this further in our new partnership in the enterprise agenda with the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Surrey."

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