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After a £3.4 billion IPO in London, Oxford Nanopore is up in early trading.

Shares in genomics company Oxford Nanopore surged in early trading after its initial public offering in London, jumping 30 per cent from its flotation price to 554p.

The company, which makes devices used to sequence Covid-19 variants, had priced its shares at 425p, giving it a market capitalisation of £3.4bn.

The group’s IPO promises to be a significant test for the sector’s attraction to investors in London. Many other British pharmaceutical and life sciences companies have listed on New York’s tech-focused Nasdaq exchange.

“We are only in the foothills of a long and exciting journey,” said chief executive Gordon Sanghera. “We are living on the cusp of the genomic era” and the group’s technology would open up many “possibilities for positive impact”, he added.

The company was spun out of the University of Oxford in 2005, and had a valuation of £2.4bn when it last raised funds in May. Its variant sequencing devices have been used in 85 countries to track the evolution of coronavirus.

Oxford Nanopore’s IPO involved the sale of 123.4m shares which will raise a total of £524m. Of that, there were 82.4m new shares raising £350m and 41m shares sold by existing investors. It has an additional 18.5m new shares available as the overallotment option.

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