The Sygnia Oxford Science Innovation [OSI] fund is likely to benefit from the Covid-19 vaccine. Oxford University entered into a JV with asset managers in 2015 to turn the university’s Intellectual Property into commercial spin-outs through Oxford Sciences Innovation Plc. OSI’s Investment Principals work with academics to turn a patent into a spin-out business. They help build the management team and develop the product through to revenue generation. OSI receives founding shares in spin-out companies from the Oxford University (founding shares are split 25% OSI, 25% OU, 50% relevant academic staff).
There are currently 80 spin-outs and a pipeline of 10 spin-outs per year.
I have written comprehensively about the Sygnia OSI fund before. You can find the first newsletter that I wrote HERE, http://www.thuthuka-sa.co.za/invest-in-the-oxford-science-innovation-osi-fund/ so that you have background information on the OSI.
One of the spin out companies that OSI invests is VACCITECH, which was spun out in March 2016. In April 2020 Vaccitech received £25m from UK Government to fund clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine. Top academics involved with the vaccine are Professor Adrian Hill who is the Director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and Professor Sarah Gilbert who is Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University and and an acknowledged expert in the preclinical and clinical development of viral vectored vaccines . Professor Adrian Hill heads a leading malaria vaccine development programme and also regularly consults nationally on pandemic threats. His group led the first clinical vaccine trial against the Ebola virus outbreak strain in the major West African emergency in 2014.
Vaccitech is backed by leading investment institutions, including Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital China, Liontrust, Korea Investment Partners and OSI. OSI owns 45% of Vaccitech. Oxford University has however already mentioned that they will NOT profit from a global pandemic. If they do indeed come up with the vaccine, they will make it available to everyone at cost and will only sell it at market prices 1 year after the World Health Organisation declares Corona to be no longer a pandemic.
Why Invest in Sygnia OSI Fund?
OSI owns the University of Oxford’s Intellectual Property. Through the fund, you will have access to an existing portfolio of Oxford University’s “best-of-breed” investment opportunities (80) with a 5 year history. Many of the companies are now valued at £20-50 million and OSI currently has an undeployed cash of £390 million. You will also have access to a pipeline of future deals in the sphere of biosciences/healthcare and technology-driven innovation.
The OSI is also an important part of your investment portfolio because it’s performance is uncorrelated to market performance and this is critical as the markets are highly volatile especially since Covid-19. Performance from 1 May 2019 to 31 March 2020: 23.1% vs 7.9% S&P500 Index
How to Invest
The fund is available through a Retirement Annuity, Pension Preservation, Endowment and Living Annuity. The fund is a Life Policy, it is NOT a collective investment. You can invest a minimum of
R5 000, one-off, monthly or adhoc
You can also invest in the OSI through the 4th Industrial Revolution Global Equity fund, this is also available as a tax free investment but the fund has only 4,9% exposure to OSI and you can invest a minimum of R500 per month
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