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IP Group - To increase stake in Photopharmica

IP Group plc is pleased to announce that it is increasing its stake in Photopharmica Holdings Limited, a University of Leeds spin-out company.

IP Group will pay a total consideration of £5.5 million to be satisfied as to £1 million in cash and £4.5 million by the issue of 3,237,410 new Ordinary Shares of 2 pence ('Ordinary Shares') (fully paid ranking pari passu with the existing Ordinary Shares) in IP Group calculated at an issue price of 139 pence per share (being IP Group's average mid-market Closing Price on the five dealing days prior to the date of this announcement).

IP Group is acquiring debt instruments of approximately £5.0m in aggregate as well as shares which will increase its equity stake to 56.6%, having previously been beneficially interested in 4.3% of the Company.

Photopharmica was established in 2001 to develop novel photosensitisers as products for medical use. The Company has opened up new applications of topical photodynamic therapy and produced photosensitisers that have improved properties compared with those previously available. Photopharmica's first clinical trial was conducted in 2004 and further Phase II trials are being conducted and planned.

Photopharmica's Chief Executive Officer, John Lyon, has a track record in growing commercial life science businesses and, in particular, strong experience in managing the drug development process. Mr Lyon held the position of Global Vice President within a publicly quoted NYSE company and was the Managing Director of their world renowned clinic in Leeds, UK, through which many approved medicines have been developed.

Application will be made for the new Ordinary Shares, which are subject to a lock-in for six months following issue, to be admitted to the Official List and to be traded on London Stock Exchange plc's market for listed securities ('Admission'). IP Group will also provide an additional £1.0 million to Photopharmica at completion through additional debt.

It is expected that Admission will become effective and that dealings will commence in the 3,237,410 Ordinary Shares on 23 May 2007. Following Admission, the issued share capital of IP Group will be 250,291,965 Ordinary Shares.

For further information: 

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

Notes for Editors

About IP Group

IP Group Plc is an intellectual property (IP) commercialisation company that specialises in commercialising university technology. Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AiM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006. It has made two acquisitions to date - Techtran, a company set up to commercialise university intellectual property under a long term contract with the University of Leeds, in 2005 and Top Technology Ventures, an investment adviser to early stage technology venture capital funds, in 2004.

The group has formed long-term partnerships with ten universities - the University of Oxford, King's College London, CNAP/University of York, the University of Leeds, the University of Bristol, the University of Surrey, the University of Southampton, Queen Mary (University of London), the University of Bath and the University of Glasgow.

As at 31 December 2006, 53 spin-out companies had been created among the group's university partners. Of those, eight have listed on the AiM market of the London Stock Exchange, one on PLUS Markets and there have been two trade sales.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.ipgroupplc.com/. For more information on Photopharmica, please visit its website at http://www.photopharmica.com/.

The University of Leeds

The University of Leeds has a long history of successful entrepreneurial activity based on leading edge research, generating more than 70 spin-out companies to date. In the last 18 months three University of Leeds companies have floated on AIM.

The White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund

An early stage investment in Photopharmica was made in 2002 by White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund, which is owned by the Universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield and managed by Aberdeen Asset Managers.

The White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund is an early stage seedcorn fund, which invests in exciting new technology emerging from the universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield. The £9 million Fund provides venture capital funding of up to £250,000 (and above for exceptional opportunities) to enable the transition from promising research work to commercial reality.

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