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Imperial Innovations Release: Nigel Pitchford and Tony Hickson Appointed Directors

10/16/2013 8:49:47 AM

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16 October 2013 -- Imperial Innovations Group plc (“Innovations”, AIM: IVO), one of the leading technology transfer and commercialisation companies in the UK, has appointed Dr Nigel Pitchford and Tony Hickson directors with immediate effect.

Nigel Pitchford, aged 43, joined the Group in 2012 and is a highly experienced healthcare venture investor with a strong track record of creating and realising value. He has been appointed Chief Investment Officer; previously he was Managing Director, Healthcare Investments.

Prior to joining Innovations, Nigel was a partner at DFJ Esprit, where he was responsible for leading their healthcare activities across Europe. Before that Nigel worked at 3i for 12 years, becoming a Partner in 2006 and ultimately leading its venture healthcare activities across Europe and the US. He helped to create and build successful companies across most healthcare sectors and has particular expertise in developing US commercial strategies for technology-rich European companies. He played a leading role in the start-up, investment and ultimately successful exit of Apatech (sold to Baxter in 2010).

Based in Cambridge since 2001, Nigel has strong links to the region’s life science and medical community, including investments in successful companies such as Horizon Discovery, Domantis and Arakis. Innovations benefits from Nigel's established relationships in growing its presence and investment activities within the Cambridge area. Nigel studied chemistry at the University of Oxford, before completing a PhD at the University of Durham. He also has an MBA from Warwick Business School.

Tony Hickson, aged 44, joined the Group in early 2002. He is Managing Director of the Technology Transfer team responsible for intellectual property sourcing, licensing and spin-out creation for technologies arising from Imperial College London. Tony has over 18 years of prior commercial experience in bioscience companies including Wellcome Group, Murex Biotech, Abbott Laboratories and Kalibrant Limited.

He has been a board director or observer for a number of start-up companies including Emcision, Polytherics and Acublate, and was instrumental in the creation of companies such as Thiakis (sold to Wyeth, now Pfizer, in 2008), Respivert (sold to J&J in 2010), Cell Medica and Circassia (both currently in late clinical studies).

Tony is a Certified Licensing Professional, and until recently acted as Chairman of the Intellectual Property Board of the European Institute of Technology Climate Change KIC. Tony, a graduate in Immunology, has an MBA from the Open University.

Dr Martin Knight, Chairman of Imperial Innovations, said:

“The appointment of Nigel and Tony to the Innovations Board will add strength and experience to the top team. Nigel’s experience will continue to be invaluable in seeking out valuable investment opportunities and actively managing the investment in Innovations’ portfolio companies to build value. Tony’s experience and excellent relationships will continue to provide a pipeline of research innovation for licensing or spin out formation.”

Other than the following details, there are no further details to be disclosed under Rule 17 Schedule 2 paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules.

Nigel Aaron Pitchford’s directorships and partnerships within the past five years (other than entities within the Imperial Innovations Group plc group) are:-

Apatech Limited

Not active


Macsco 2011 Limited

Not active


EUSA Pharma

Not active


Pulmagen Therapeutics (Synergy) Limited

Not active


Argenta Discovery Limited

Not active


Pulmagen Therapeutics (Asthma) Limited

Not active


Pulmagen Therapeutics (Holdings Limited)

Not active


Horizon Discovery Limited

Not active


Oxford Immunotec Limited



Oxford Immunotec Global plc



Polytherics Limited



Epsilon - 3 Bio Limited



Veryan Holdings Limited



Veryan Medical Limited



Psychology Online Limited



Anthony Charles Hickson’s directorships and partnerships within the past five years (other than entities within the Imperial Innovations Group plc group) are:-

Acublate Ltd

Not active



Not active


AH Businesses Ltd



Zihipp Ltd



Praxis Courses Ltd




Imperial Innovations Group Plc

020 7594 6506

Russ Cummings, Chief Executive Officer

Terry Nicklin, Director of Communications

College Hill

020 7457 2020

Adrian Duffield/Tim Watson/Rozi Morris

J.P. Morgan Cazenove

020 7742 4000

Michael Wentworth-Stanley

Imperial Innovations -

Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise. Innovations acts as the Technology Transfer office for Imperial College, providing IP protection, licensing and business-building services, gining it very early access to research outputs from this leading research university.

Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London, Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL, supported by collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.

Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:

- leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages

- providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products

- providing operational expertise

- helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members

Innovations raised £140 million in January 2011. In the year to 31 July 2012, it invested £37.9 million (2011: £35.1 million) in 29 ventures, and made 11 investments in new companies. In July 2013, Innovations obtained a £30m, 12-year loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to invest in the biotech and therapeutics sectors.

In its current portfolio of around 80 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative treatments for a wide range of allergies, and Veryan, a medical devices business developing improved stent technologies.

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