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Covington Advises BenevolentAI on £80m Funding and Acquisition

April 20, 2018

LONDON—Covington advised BenevolentAI on an £80 million equity investment by new and existing investors, including Woodford Investment Management, at a pre-money valuation of £1.4 billion. The firm also recently advised BenevolentAI on its acquisition of Proximagen Limited, a Cambridge, UK-based drug discovery and development company, for an undisclosed sum.

BenevolentAI is one of the leading artificial intelligence (AI) companies in the pharmaceutical sector using technology it has developed to discover new causes of untreated diseases and to develop existing pharma assets to treat known diseases with no current treatment.

The company will use the funds to increase the scale its drug development activities, broaden the disease areas on which it focuses, and extend its AI platform capabilities. A portion of the funds will be used to extend BenevolentAI’s capabilities into other science-based industries underpinning many of the world’s most valuable markets such as advanced materials, agriculture, and energy storage. 

The Proximagen acquisition provided BenevolentAI with a lab facility and experienced team of scientists to enhance its in-house pre-clinical drug development capabilities. The acquisition means that BenevolentAI is the first AI company to be able to work across the entire drug development process ‘end-to-end’ from drug discovery to late stage clinical development.

The Covington team handling the equity investment was led by Simon Amies and included Camilla Gare and Luciana Griebel (corporate), with support from Guy Dingley and Ansgar Simon (tax), Morag Peberdy (IP), Richard Surtees (share incentives), and Kristian Wiggert (U.S. securities).

The team on the Proximagen acquisition was led by partners Simon Amies and Daniel Pavin and included Camilla Gare and Denitsa Marinova (corporate), Jacqueline Clover (life sciences transactions), Guy Dingley (tax), Hilary Prescott (real estate), Christopher Walter and Hannah Edmonds-Camara (employment), Robin Blaney and Sinead Oryszczuk (regulatory and environmental), and Morag Peberdy (IP).

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