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Tuesday 30 June, 2020

Syncona Limited

Freeline expands Series C financing to $120million

RNS Number : 4428R
Syncona Limited
30 June 2020
 

Syncona Limited

Freeline expands Series C financing to $120 million

 30 June 2020

· Freeline raises $80 million from specialist global institutional investors in an expanded $120m Series C financing

· $120 million raised in total with Syncona remaining largest investor in the financing; $40 million Series C investment from Syncona in December 2019

· Syncona's holding in Freeline written up to £181.5 million, an uplift of £30.8 million (4.6p per share); 20.4 per cent uplift to 31 March 2020 valuation

Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science, today announces that Freeline Therapeutics ("Freeline"), a biotechnology company focused on developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic diseases, has raised a further $80 million from specialist global institutional investors including Novo Holding A/S, Eventide Asset Management, Wellington Management Company, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures and Ample Plus Fund in an expanded Series C financing. Including the $40 million invested in the Series C by Syncona in December 2019, this takes the total financing round to $120 million. [1]  

Following the financing, Syncona has revalued its holding to take account of the price of the Series C. This results in a £30.8 million uplift (4.6p per Syncona share) to Syncona's holding value of Freeline. Syncona's holding value of Freeline is now £181.5 million and its ownership stake in the business is 60 per cent.

The financing will enable Freeline to progress its lead programme in Haemophilia B to a pivotal study, commence dose escalation in its second programme in Fabry disease, progress its pipeline of programmes and continue to develop its robust manufacturing platform including commercial supply capability.

To date, Freeline has reported highly encouraging data [2] in its lead programme for the treatment of Haemophilia B and is currently seeking to identify the optimal dose and regimen to move to a pivotal study. The business has also initiated the first AAV gene therapy clinical trial globally to target Fabry disease, where it has presented promising initial data (one patient) that AAV gene therapy can deliver sustained levels of the α-galactosidase A enzyme (αGLA) from a single infusion. The high protein levels delivered in the Haemophilia B programme provide encouragement that higher αGLA levels could be achievable in Fabry disease through dose escalation.

Freeline continues to develop its pipeline and has also strengthened its executive team appointing Theresa Heggie as Chief Executive Officer, formerly Head of CEMEA at Alnylam and bringing significant commercial expertise in rare diseases, and Julie Krop as Chief Medical Officer, bringing extensive experience in guiding clinical stage therapies for rare and complex disorders to registration.

Chris Hollowood, CIO of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: "Freeline's product candidates have significant potential to achieve functional cures for patients across a broad array of systemic diseases and we are very pleased with the progress the company has made to date. We are focused on maximising its ambition to develop gene therapy product candidates and are pleased with the outcome of this funding round which brings in like-minded partners to support the company as it continues to scale and drive multiple programmes through the clinic. We are hugely excited about its potential to transform the lives of patients and their families."

Theresa Heggie, CEO of Freeline Therapeutics, said: "The potential of gene therapy to change patients' lives has never been greater and we are delighted to have leading US and European biotechnology investors join us in this extended Series C financing. It comes at an exciting time for Freeline with our lead program in Haemophilia B progressing through clinical development, and with promising programs behind that, including a gene therapy treatment for Fabry Disease in the clinic and for Gaucher Disease and Haemophilia A in late preclinical development."

[ENDS]

Enquiries

Syncona Ltd

Siobhan Weaver / Annabel Clay  

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3981 7940

 

FTI Consulting

Ben Atwell / Natalie Garland-Collins / Tim Stamper

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000

 

This announcement includes information that is inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No.596/2014. The person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of Syncona Ltd is Andrew Cossar, General Counsel, SIML.

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 Limited. 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. In particular, many companies in the Syncona Limited portfolio are conducting scientific research and clinical trials where the outcome is inherently uncertain and there is significant risk of negative results or adverse events arising. In addition, many companies in the Syncona Limited portfolio have yet to commercialise a product and their ability to do so may be affected by operational, commercial and other risks.

 

 

 



[1] Syncona's commitment to invest a further $40 million in the Series C has now expired and will not be invested given the additional capital raised from specialist global institutional investors

[2] Freeline presented data at the EAHAD conference in February showing that eight patients had been treated and six patients had completed follow-up for at least six months. Amongst those six, three had FIX activity levels over 50 per cent


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