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Queen's has welcomed the announcement that Belfast-based CRO Fusion Antibodies is to be listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Fusion Antibodies, which emerged as the result of research at Queen's University, provides a broad range of services in antibody generation, development, production, characteristation and optimisation for the global healthcare industry. The company, which is led by Chief Executive Dr Paul Kerr, is based in west Belfast and currently employs 25 staff.

The flotation will make Fusion Antibodies one of only three publicly listed companies from Northern Ireland, along with First Derivatives, and Kainos. Fusion will however be the third company from within the QUBIS Ltd portfolio (following Kainos and Andor Technology) to list on the London Stock Exchange. QUBIS was established by Queen's over thirty years ago to commercialise the University's research and development activities through the formation of spin-out businesses.

Dr Paul Kerr, CEO of Fusion, commented:

"We are very pleased with the level of interest generated from new institutional investors in support of our AIM listing. When concluded we anticipate the placing to be oversubscribed and this demonstrates the strong support for our business strategy as we continue to invest in further growth across the business. We have established Fusion as a one-stop-shop for antibody engineering and humanisation, and cell line development for the world's largest developers of antibody-based therapeutics drugs and diagnostics. We already have our first humanisation project in clinical trials and expect more to follow, and continue to grow the business having established a healthy forward order book. The move to AIM and the additional funding will allow us to continue this growth trajectory by expanding our capacity and developing our offering of new, high value, market differentiating products."

Brian McCaul, Queen's Director of Innovation, said:

"This is a significant and exciting day for Fusion Antibodies, Queen's University and, indeed, for the Northern Ireland economy. Fusion Antibodies joins a small yet impressive group of listed companies from Northern Ireland. The company began in 2001 as the result of research at Queen's University and since then has been developing its offering and international reach. We wish them continued success beyond this milestone. Fusion Antibodies' flotation is also a reminder of the significant role Queen's University plays in the Northern Ireland economy – the University is an important engine for ambitious, high growth companies such as Fusion Antibodies."

Queen's is in the top six universities in the UK for income generated from its commercialisation activities.

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