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15 January, 2020 - 22:03 By Tony Quested

Abcam strides towards doubling scale of business as CFO jets in from US

Burgeoning first half results have set Cambridge life science influencer Abcam well on the way to achieve its strategy of doubling the scale of its business. 

Abcam expects to report total first half revenue of £138.2 million (H1 2019: £124.7 million) for the six months ended December 31: that represents growth of 10.8 per cent on a reported basis and 8.3 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Based on the expected revenue phasing for the year, Abcam says it is tightening its constant currency revenue growth target for the full year to 9-10 per cent.

Catalogue revenue, representing approximately 95 per cent of the total, grew by 11.6 per cent in the first half on a reported basis and 9.1 per cent on a constant currency basis, with all regions and product categories growing faster than estimated underlying market growth rates.

Revenue in China grew faster than the market at 17.4 per cent in the year on a constant currency basis, representing over 17 per cent of total company sales.

The group recently closed the acquisition of Expedeon, Innova Biosciences and TGR BioSciences from Expedeon AG. These businesses are expected to contribute approximately £4 million of incremental revenue in the current fiscal year (FY2020) and be neutral to adjusted earnings.

CEO Alan Hirzel said: “We have recently set out ambitious plans to double the scale of our business and we are making good progress in investing in, and scaling up, the company. 

“Earlier this month, we completed our largest acquisition in the last five years, securing a portfolio of leading protein conjugation technologies and products. I am pleased to report that we have continued to gain market share and sustain profitable growth in the period, whilst investing in the business.”

Abcam has added another ace to its hand with the appointment of Michael Baldock as CFO to replace Gavin Wood. 

His appointment will be subject to receiving the necessary approval from the UK Home Office allowing him to wing in from New York to work in the UK.
Baldock has over 30 years of relevant functional and sector experience acquired through senior leadership roles at HSBC, Lazard, Bentley Health Care and SG Warburg. 

He is a founding partner at Ondra Partners, an independent financial advisory firm which has advised Abcam for several years. 

In another development, Abcam and Cambridge neighbour SomaServe, a pharma service and specialist reagent business, have struck a partnership to advance a special area of cell technology.

They aim to commercialise the cell delivery potential of polymer-based ‘bionic’ nanoparticles which can carry a range of payloads directly to live cells. 

The collaboration will initially focus on the development and global commercialisation of a suite of CelLuminate dyes, specifically created to revolutionise live cell imaging by enabling cells to remain functional and viable for up to 14 days.

This crucial reduction in toxicity gives users the ability to thoroughly probe and analyse their cells, enabling them to achieve deeper insights and advance their understanding.  

Beyond improving and enhancing live cell imaging, the team will work together to expand the delivery and assay options of the platform, including optimising its potential in combination with antibodies and other technologies. 

In addition to the commercial partnership, Abcam has invested in SomaServe’s seed round to help accelerate the development of an innovative market leading platform for research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. 

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