Neil Woodford, one of Britain's best known fund managers, has taken the opportunity to top-up holdings across a number of innovative businesses in recent weeks.

A quick screen of the regulatory news service (RNS) reveals buying by Woodford Investment Management, the manager behind the CF Woodford Equity Income Fund (GB00BLRZQ513) and the early-growth focused Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), in the following stocks.

Among September's purchases by the manager regarded as one of the finest of his generation is Imperial Innovations (IVO:AIM), the investor in ventures from Imperial College London, Cambridge and Oxford universities and UCL that has the bulk of its portfolio in the healthcare sector.

On 8 September, Woodford upped his stake to 22.76%, adding another 2.45 million shares to take his total holding to 36.7 million shares, having previously nudged his holding up to 21.23% earlier in the month.

Well-followed Woodford, a keen backer of early-stage businesses that could be tomorrow's future stars, also used price weakness as an opportunity to increase his stake in US development-phase pharma firm Verseon Corporation (VSN:AIM) from 24,065,011 to 24,335,011 shares or 16.08% of the equity.

The tech-based pharma company raised £60.7 million on its AIM debut in May 2015 to help take treatments focusing on blood clots, cancer and diabetes to market.

Woodford has upped his stake in hVIVO (HVO:AIM) to around 18.1%; the life sciences minnow is pioneering a technology platform that can help accelerate treatments for ailments including flu, RSV, asthma and the common cold.

And at the start of the month, the renowned manager also increased its stake in Xeros Technology (XSG:AIM), the IP Group (IPO) spin-off and inventor of a patented low chemical, low water intensity washing machine, from 19.78 million to 19.82 million shares or 23.04%.

Issue Date: 14 Sep 2016