IP Valuation and IPO

OxFirst Board member Professor Graham Richards founded Oxford Molecular Ltd in 1989. It was the first spin-out from Oxford University in which the University had founder’s equity as a result of its owning the intellectual property following UK’s Prime Minister’s transfer of the ownership of government funded research to universities.

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The start-up company was funded by £350,000 of venture capital and operated in the area of computer-aided drug discovery with customers being mostly major international pharmaceutical companies.


The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1992, with a third of the company being sold for £10 million. Graham Richards was chairman. The company grew and did seven take overs in the USA reaching a market capitalisation of £450 million before being sold in two parts to the US companies Pharmacopeia and Millennium.