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Syncona makes £85 million commitment to Freeline

Released 07:00 19-Jun-2018

Syncona makes £85 million commitment to Freeline

Syncona Limited

SYNCONA MAKES £85 MILLION COMMITMENT TO FREELINE

19 June 2018

Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on investing in and building global leaders in life science, today announces that it has committed £85m to Freeline in an £88.4 million Series B financing.

Freeline is a leading, clinical stage AAV gene therapy company focused on liver expression for chronic systemic diseases. Syncona founded Freeline with Professor Amit Nathwani from University College London in 2015. The Series B financing will enable the company to drive its lead programme in Haemophilia B through the clinic, further broaden its pipeline, build on its core manufacturing capabilities and ultimately to deliver its products to patients.

Syncona remains the sole institutional investor in Freeline alongside UCL Technology Fund, who committed £3.4 million to the Series B round. Syncona has an 80 per cent fully diluted stake in Freeline which is valued at cost and held at £63.5 million[2] following the first tranche of the Series B investment.  

Chris Hollowood, Chief Investment Officer of Syncona and Chairman of Freeline, said: “In line with our strategy of building global leaders, we believe in backing our companies strongly over the long term. We are demonstrating this approach with our substantial ongoing commitment to Freeline, a company we founded in 2015 and which has made significant positive progress.

“The business has a world leading founder and executive team with extensive track records in gene therapy, clinical translation, early and late stage development and global drug approvals. With its first programme now in the clinic we look forward to continuing to work with Freeline as it seeks to progress its treatments to patients.

Anne Prener, CEO of Freeline, said “We are delighted to have secured Series B financing with Syncona and UCLB today, the proceeds of which will enable us to drive the business forward ambitiously in our next stage of growth and development. Freeline is a promising company at the forefront of an exciting area, with an industry leading, fully integrated AAV gene therapy platform. We have a deep pipeline of programmes and proprietary manufacturing capability enabling commercial quality and scale which we look forward to building out further in coming years.”

[ENDS]

Enquiries

Syncona Ltd
Siobhan Weaver
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 2031

Tulchan Communications
Martin Robinson
Lisa Jarrett-Kerr
Tel: +44 (0) 207 353 4200

Copies of this press release and other corporate information can be found on the company website at: www.synconaltd.com  

Forward-looking statements – this announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the portfolio of investments of Syncona Ltd. These statements and forecasts involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements and forecasts. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast. 

About Syncona:

Syncona is a leading FTSE250 healthcare company focused on investing in and building global leaders in life science. Our vision is to deliver transformational treatments to patients in truly innovative areas of healthcare while generating superior returns for shareholders.

We seek to partner with the best, brightest and most ambitious minds in science to build globally competitive businesses.

We take a long-term view, underpinned by a deep pool of capital, and are established leaders in the development of genetic medicine, particularly gene and cell therapy. We focus on delivering dramatic efficacy for patients in areas of high unmet need.

About Freeline:

Freeline Therapeutics Ltd. is a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company based in the UK and in Germany. The Company’s vision is to create better lives for people suffering from chronic systemic diseases using the potential of gene therapy as a one-off curative treatment. Freeline has a clear focus on AAV based gene therapy targeting the liver with the aim to provide treatments for diseases with significant unmet needs. 

The Freeline gene therapy treatment builds upon the pioneering work by its CSO, Professor Amit Nathwani, Professor of Haematology at UCL which has already transformed the lives of patients by providing safe, effective and reliable gene therapy for people with Haemophilia B.

The Company’s proprietary AAV capsid is optimised to effectively transduce human liver cells and thus provide sustainable, high levels of the desired protein. This strong capsid performance is being validated in the haemophilia B patients and sets the stage for potentially curative products in a wide range of disease which have not to date been treatable with one-time treatment.

UCL Technology Fund

The UCL Technology Fund is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base, focusing in particular on the physical and life sciences. The Fund supports UCL in achieving the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal and market impact, right through the development journey from initial proof of concept to practical commercial application.

The Fund is managed by Albion Capital, one of the largest independent venture capital investors in the UK, in collaboration with UCL Business. For further information please visit: www.ucltf.co.uk

UCL Technology Fund

The UCL Technology Fund is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base, focusing in particular on the physical and life sciences. The Fund supports UCL in achieving the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal and market impact, right through the development journey from initial proof of concept to practical commercial application. The Fund is managed by Albion Capital, one of the largest independent venture capital investors in the UK, in collaboration with UCL Business. For further information please visit: www.ucltf.co.uk

UCL Business PLC (UCLB), part of UCL Innovation and Enterprise, is a leading technology commercialisation company that supports research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. Albion Capital is a leading independent investment manager with a long-term record of partnering ambitious business.

[1] Based on net assets at 30 April 2018.

[2] Freeline is valued at cost. The business received £33.5 million in Series A funding from Syncona prior to the Series B round. The first tranche of the Series B is £30 million


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Syncona makes £85 million commitment to Freeline - RNS