Biotech startup Vaccitech confidentially files for U.S. IPO: FT

(Reuters) - Biotech startup Vaccitech, which owns the technology behind the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca PLC, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the United States, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The startup could price its offering as early as this month, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Vaccitech’s call to go with the U.S. market as the venue for its listing over the U.K. could further undermine London’s attempts to become a major financial hub, particularly after Brexit.

Last month, another UK company, car seller Cazoo Holdings, chose to merge with a U.S.- based special purpose acquisition company backed by billionaire investor Dan Och, in a $7 billion deal.

Vaccitech is co-founded by Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, who led AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine development efforts.

It raised around $168 million in fresh capital in a funding round led by investment firm M&G Investment Management and with participation from investors including Gilead Sciences Inc and venture capital firm Future Planet Capital, among others.

The UK Treasury also has a stake in the company, the report added.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli