UCLB spinout, Autolus Limited, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of next-generation engineered T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours, announced today that it has raised £40 million of new capital in a Series B financing round. Woodford Investment Management LLP (“Woodford”) and Perceptive Bioscience Investments Ltd (“Perceptive Bioscience”) participated in the new investment, which augments the previous £30 million Seed and Series A investment from founding investor Syncona LLP (“Syncona”).
The funds will enable Autolus to develop its proprietary pipeline of engineered T-cell products, and to further implement its industry-leading platform of T-cell programming technologies. In parallel with the financing, the Company’s technology platform was enhanced by a licence to additional technologies from UCLB, UCL’s technology transfer company.
In association with the financing, Dr Joe Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Perceptive Bioscience, has joined the board of directors of Autolus.
Dr Christian Itin, Chairman of Autolus, said: “We are pleased to welcome investors of the calibre of Woodford Investment Management and Perceptive Bioscience, which support our goal of building Autolus into a leading engineered T-cell company. The quality of Autolus’ technology and pipeline has allowed the company to raise £70m since its foundation in September 2014, and positions us to take multiple programmes into the clinic. We have also expanded the scope of our licence with UCLB to bring additional inventions from founder Dr Martin Pule’s group into the company adding to the suite of Autolus’ T-cell programming technologies.”
Dr Joe Anderson, CEO of Perceptive Bioscience, added: “We are delighted that Perceptive Bioscience’s first investment is in a company with the potential to transform cancer therapy. Autolus is at the cutting-edge of T-cell engineering to create a new generation of programmed T-cells acting as agents to kill tumour cells. Our investment in Autolus underlines our commitment to supporting emerging, innovative companies. Our flexible investment platform enables us to assist companies with finance and practical support whatever their stage of development.”
Dr Martin Murphy, CEO of Syncona, said: “We are excited that Woodford and Perceptive have invested in Autolus. The company is now funded by a group of investors that share our vision of creating sustainable standalone businesses that will develop products designed to deliver exceptional benefit to patients in areas of high unmet need.”
Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCLB, commented: “We are delighted to support this significant milestone in Autolus’ development. The licence and the commitment from Syncona, Woodford and Perceptive Bioscience provide a solid foundation to translate the licensed UCL technologies into healthcare benefits for patients.”
Autolus is founded upon the work of Dr Martin Pule, an academic clinical haematologist at the UCL Cancer Institute and NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre and a thought-leader in T-cell engineering. It is a next-generation engineered T-cell company, developing a series of T-cell products based on its proprietary targets, constructs and technologies.
About Autolus Limited
Autolus is a private biopharmaceutical company, focused on the development and commercialisation of engineered T-cell immunotherapy products based on its proprietary T-cell programming technology. Autolus’ shareholders include Syncona LLP, UCL Business PLC, Woodford Investment Management LLP and Perceptive Bioscience Investments Ltd.
For further information please visit the Company’s website at: www.autolus.com
About Syncona LLP
Syncona LLP was founded in 2012 and operates as an evergreen investment company, taking an active role in identifying, developing and funding technologies with the potential to significantly impact the healthcare market of the future. Syncona can take the long view when necessary, able to concentrate investment into opportunities as technology is validated. Syncona is a subsidiary of the Wellcome Trust.
For further information, please visit the Company’s website at: www.synconapartners.com
About Woodford Investment Management LLP
Woodford Investment Management is a fast-growing asset management company built on a founding philosophy of transparency and simplicity. Launched in May 2014, the company has more than £14bn assets under management and advice.
Further information can be found at: www.woodfordfunds.com
About Perceptive Bioscience Investments Ltd
Perceptive Bioscience Investments Ltd is a new global health and life sciences investment company formed by leading figures in the life sciences sector. Perceptive Bioscience invests in medical innovation at all stages of development. Headquartered in London and with offices in New York, Perceptive Bioscience has developed a broad investment strategy providing seed, venture and growth capital as well as private and public equity.
Further information: www.perceptivebioscience.com
About UCL Business PLC
UCL Business PLC (UCLB) is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. UCLB has a strong track record in commercialising medical technologies and provides technology transfer services to UCL’s associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.