Oxford spinouts chief quits following £250m sale

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By Creative Media News

Alexis Dormandy will step down as CEO of Oxford Science Enterprises just two years after joining, amid rumors of problems within the academic spinoff investor.

The chief executive of the investment firm that finances start-ups based on academic research at Oxford University are resigning just months after raising £250 million.

Alexis Dormandy, who joined Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE) less than two years ago, will resign shortly.

According to two individuals, Mr. Dormandy was essentially fired from his position, but the reasons for his departure remained unclear as of Thursday, and an OSE spokesperson declined to comment.

According to the sources, headhunters have been employed to discover Mr. Dormandy’s replacement.

Oxford spinouts chief quits following £250m sale
Oxford spinouts chief quits following £250m sale

OSE, formerly known as Oxford Sciences Innovation, is an investor in hundreds of firms, notably Vaccitech, which developed the biotech platform that AstraZeneca utilized to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.

Its portfolio also includes the nuclear fusion energy startup First Light and the deep-tech company Animal Dynamics.

OxfordVR, an expert in virtual reality therapies for serious mental diseases, and BehaVR, a digital wellness startup, have merged, as revealed by OSE this week.

In July, OSE raised $250 million via a rights issue.

Mr. Dormandy was a notable hire to lead OSE in 2020, having begun his career with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, where he assisted in the introduction of Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active.

Afterward, he joined Orange, a mobile phone network, and subsequently assisted in the management of Candover, a European private equity business.

Mr. Dormandy has also served as the European head of RED, the Bono-founded AIDS charity.

The OSE boasts a roster of institutional investors that rivals any comparable vehicle in the world.

Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Temasek Holdings, the Singaporean government fund, are among its publicly reported owners.

The Chinese telecoms technology giant Huawei Technologies is also a shareholder.

Several chairs and senior executives have resigned from the corporation in a short period, contributing to a chaotic period of management turnover.

OSE, which was co-founded by the renowned City executive Alex Snow, who now leads Sensyne, is reportedly seeking a successor by the spring.

Osler, a blood diagnostics company, and Bibliu, a digital textbooks platform, are among the other companies it has supported or founded.

This year, two of its portfolio firms, MiroBio and DJS Antibodies, were sold for a total of $655 million to major pharmaceutical giants.

OSE has also struck an arrangement with the real estate business Lothbury to construct a cutting-edge R&D facility in the heart of Oxford.

The OSE spokesperson declined to respond.

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