Growth and expansion for Aptamer Group in 2022
As we come to the end of 2022 and our first year as a listed company, the year in review shows a clear theme of growth and expansion across all areas for Aptamer Group.
From joining AIM and supporting a host of new partners with Optimer technology to a new home that will support our future growth and enable us to meet the increased demand for Optimer, 2022 has been a year of rapid growth and busy work.
Our maiden year on AIM
At the end of 2021, December 21, Aptamer Group was listed on the AIM stock market. This listing excitingly represents the first listed aptamer company in the Western market, helping to raise the profile of this disruptive technology that is bringing new innovation to scientists. We are grateful to our investors for supporting our vision as a global leader in the delivery and application of aptamer-based technologies.
In our first year, Aptamer Group reported excellent financial results to the market of 152% revenue growth. Such growth highlights the high demand across the life sciences for Optimer technology, enabling researchers to pursue new targets, improve consistency, and increase ethical compliance through our non-animal-derived binders.
After all the hard work at the end of 2021 in working through the pandemic and getting the company listed, coming together to celebrate in March was a fun for the whole team.
New demand for Optimer technology
As we launched onto the AIM market to support our growth and meet the increased demand for Optimer technology, there has been a flurry of new projects working across therapeutics, diagnostics, bioprocessing, and research.
A key highlight in therapeutics include the successful conclusion of the proof-of-concept collaboration with Korean biotechnology company, PinotBio, to investigate the combination of Optimer binders with PinotBio’s chemotherapeutic compound, FL-118, for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells. Based on this success, we are working together to develop Optimer-drug conjugates as novel format ADCs for four oncology targets. These Optimer-drug conjugates will bring new treatment potential to target solid tumours, which respond poorly to chemotherapy.
Within diagnostics, we are working with Bioliquid Innovative Genetics to support Optimer development for novel prenatal and placental liquid biopsy tests that could revolutionise women’s and fetal health.
We are supporting partners in the bioprocessing space with new projects that will see Optimer binders developed to enable the purification of novel therapeutics for a top ten pharmaceutical company and also to remove bioprocessing contaminants for a leading US-based biotech company.
Finally, we are supporting new Optimer solutions in research with Optimer binders being developed to deliver high selectivity IHC reagents for a top ten pharmaceutical company.
A new home for Aptamer
While our team has been busy keeping pace with Optimer projects for our current and new partners, Aptamer Group moved to a larger home in October. Thanks to our hardworking operations team, this move was completed without any disruptions to our science.
The new premises double Aptamer’s effective footprint to 18,000 sqft. The larger, purpose-built site will help scale our Optimer platform capacity, enabling faster Optimer development for our partners. In addition to Optimer discovery and development, a portion of the new lab space will be dedicated to validation and assay development to provide turnkey Optimer solutions for our customers.
At the end of November, we were thrilled to welcome the eminent neuroscience researcher Baroness Susan Greenfield to open the new site, with York Central’s MP Rachel Maskell. Baroness Greenfield gave an inspiring presentation on the day about the process of scientific discovery within growing biotech companies.
Baroness Greenfield commented
“I’m delighted to support a British company, clearly flourishing with an exciting new technology!”
Growing our expert team
As the demand for Optimer binders increases, our team has expanded to support this.
This year we enhanced our senior leadership team with Dr Ian Gilham joining as Non-Executive Director and Chairman and appointments of Alastair Fleming as Chief Executive Officer and Jenny Cutler as Interim Chief Financial Officer. Also, Dr Shozo Fujita joined our Scientific Advisory Board, bringing expertise in aptamer development and the development of novel aptamer-based nucleotide chemistries.
More team members have joined Aptamer Group across all business areas, including production, R&D, commercial, and operations, increasing the team to a total of 56 people that are passionate about delivering Optimer technology for our customers.
Professorship for our CEO
In April of this year, our CEO, Dr Arron Tolley, was awarded a Visiting Professorship in Biological and Translational Sciences from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, in recognition of his technical and commercial aptitude in the life science space. Arron brings vital skills in technology and business development, his ability to leverage investment and his understanding of translational science to the University.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to have Arron as a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey. He will bring immense expertise in biomedical innovation and demonstrate invaluable insights into managing the academe to SME journey. It’s not an easy journey, but with Arron’s energy and flair, I hope he can help encourage and mentor new and established academics, staff, and students keen to drive real-world impact.”
Professor Paul Townsend, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey
After such as whirlwind year for the team it was great to get together and celebrate our hard work and success at the Aptamer Group Christmas dinner.
It’s been a very busy year at Aptamer Group, but we’ve made great progress. We wish everyone a lovely festive season. Thank you to all our clients and partners who we’ve worked with this year. It’s been a pleasure to work with you. We’re already looking into 2023 and have plans to enable our partners in new and exciting ways with Optimer binders.