C4X to quit stock market and seek venture funding for drug discovery


C4X Discovery is to delist from the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and seek further funding from venture capital investors, the company has said this morning in another damning indictment of the poor trading environment on the London Stock Exchange.

The Manchester-based business floated on AIM in 2014, at 100p a share, hitting a high of 117.5p in July 2016, but at the close of market yesterday the shares were priced at 13p, giving the business a market capitalisation of £33m.

The shares have remained in a range between 64p in 2019, and dropping as low as 7p as the news landed this morning.

The drug discovery company said they have successfully raised £63m since the float, and have secured three deals that have generated them US$55m. They include partnerships with Astra Zeneca, which could be worth US$400m eventually; and a potentially €414 million deal with Sanofi that has already yielded a first milestone payment of €3 million in July 2022. 

In March 2018, Indivior signed a licensing agreement for C4XD’s Orexin-1 Receptor Antagonist Programme which it subsequently acquired in July 2023 for £15.95 million.

Dr Clive Dix

But Dr Clive Dix, C4X Discovery’s chief executive, said of the decision to quit the junior market today: “We have not taken this decision lightly, however, following an extensive review and deliberation to ascertain the most effective way to maximise shareholder value in the longer term and increase the potential for the long-term success of the Company, the board has unanimously concluded that it is in the best interests of the Company and our shareholders to delist from AIM and re-register as a private limited company.”

He said that despite delivering on the strategy including three major deals with leading pharmaceutical companies, which he said demonstrated “scientific expertise and deal making capabilities”, the recent downturn in the financial markets has adversely impacted the share price, and with it, C4X’s future ability to raise funds in the public markets. 

“The Board believes the current public market valuation does not reflect the underlying potential of our business or our achievements to date and that this is unlikely to change in the short-to-medium term. We believe that we can potentially access a larger quantum of future funding required to accelerate our strategy as a private company and therefore we believe that a cancellation of the company’s admission on AIM is in the best interest for shareholders and for the future of our business as a whole,” Dix added.

Dix said the company has a cash balance as at 29 February 2024 of c.£20.8 million, and the potential for further milestone payments upon successful development over the next 18 months.

The statement this morning was also accompanied by a results announcement for the six months to the 31 January 2024, showing revenue of £24.6 million (January 2023: £1.7m) reflecting the receipt of £15.9 million from the sale of the Orexin-1 receptor antagonist programme and and US$11 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca.

Total pre-tax profits were £17.8 million, a huge swing from comparable losses of £3.9m in the same period last year, which highlight the volatility of the business.

The board also described the “considerable cost” of an AIM listing including fees payable to its professional advisers, the nominated adviser and broker, fees to the London Stock Exchange as well as incremental legal, insurance, accounting and auditing fees, along with the considerable amount of management time and regulatory burden associated with a listing.


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