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Syncona Limited (SYNC)

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Thursday 23 April, 2020

Syncona Limited

New commitment to SwanBio

RNS Number : 5618K
Syncona Limited
23 April 2020

Syncona Limited


23 April 2020 


New commitment to SwanBio in Syncona's largest Series A financing


Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science, today announces a $51.0 million new commitment in a $77.0 million (£62.0 million) [1] expanded Series A financing by SwanBio Therapeutics ("SwanBio").

This new commitment takes Syncona's total commitment to this business to $74.0 million (£59.6 million) [2] . [3] Syncona has now invested a further $19.6 million [4] , and the holding is valued at cost [5] at £34.3 million [6] . This expanded Series A financing will enable SwanBio to continue to develop a scalable manufacturing process for commercial supply, progress its lead programme, build out a pipeline of indications and expand its leadership team.

SwanBio is a gene therapy company focused on neurological disorders. Its lead programme is targeting the treatment of Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a genetic neuro-degenerative disease affecting the spine. This disease impacts 10,000-20,000 patients [7] in the US and EU5 and there are currently no approved treatments. The business has made strong progress in the pre-clinical development of its lead programme, and the build out of a commercial manufacturing platform. In partnership with Syncona, the business has also undertaken an extensive exercise to identify unmet clinical needs where SwanBio is well placed to develop pipeline programmes.

Syncona has a 78.6 per cent fully diluted ownership stake at the point full current commitments are invested. 

Chris Hollowood, Chief Investment Officer of Syncona and Chair of SwanBio, said: "In the last seven years, Syncona has developed a leading platform of gene therapy companies, each of which is built around world-class academics, a cornerstone programme addressing a high medical need and a commercial manufacturing and delivery platform that is then leveraged to a differentiated and synergistic pipeline of products. 

SwanBio is a fantastic example of this strategy in action. This financing, which is Syncona's largest Series A to date, demonstrates our belief that we have a differentiated opportunity to build a world-class company, targeting neuro-degenerative diseases where there are no current treatments available."

Tom Anderson, CEO and Director of SwanBio Therapeutics, said : "At SwanBio Therapeutics, we enjoy the confidence and support of both Syncona Limited and the Partners Innovation Fund in achieving a focused multi-programme platform in neurological diseases through what has become the most significant investment in the company to date.  We continue to seek and develop gene therapies in neurological diseases where there is significant unmet need and where our science can make a difference in the lives of patients and their families."







Syncona Ltd 

Annabel Clay / Siobhan Weaver

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3981 7940


FTI Consulting

Ben Atwell / Natalie Garland-Collins

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000


About Syncona:


Syncona is a leading FTSE250 healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science. Our vision is to build a sustainable, diverse portfolio of 15 - 20 companies focused on delivering transformational treatments to patients in truly innovative areas of healthcare, through which we are seeking to deliver strong risk-adjusted 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 strategic capital base which provides us with control and flexibility over the management of our portfolio. We focus on delivering dramatic efficacy for patients in areas of high unmet need.


About SwanBio Therapeutics:


SwanBio Therapeutics is a privately held company focused on the development and commercialization of adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapies for the treatment of neurological diseases with significant unmet medical need. SwanBio Therapeutics is based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania and has operations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cambridge, Massachusetts.


About Partners Innovation Fund


Partners Innovation Fund (PIF) is an early-stage venture capital fund created in 2008 to promote the commercialization of technologies from Partners' academic research institutions. PIF has $171 million in capital under management, including commitments from BWH and MGH, two of the principal teaching hospitals of the Harvard Medical School. We have also raised external capital from strategic and institutional investors. PIF invests exclusively in life science companies based on intellectual property created within our own research community. We enjoy privileged access to Partners' intellectual property estate with the first look at newly disclosed inventions reflecting the inventive output from more than $1.8 billion of research expenditures annually.


Copies of this press release, a company results presentation, and other corporate information can be found on the company website at:  

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] As at exchange rate on 31 March 2020

[2] See footnote 1

[3] Original commitment from Syncona of $23 million as part of a $25m Series A financing in June 2018; with the remainder committed by Partners Innovation Fund

[4] The remaining commitment will be invested upon the delivery of key milestones

[5] For the purposes of fair value, cost is equivalent to calibrated cost

[6] See footnote 1

[7] SwanBio analysis

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