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UCL Technology Fund makes £1 million investment in gene therapy company, Freeline Therapeutics

22 June 2016

The UCL Technology Fund (‘UCLTF’), which is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base, has announced an investment of up to £1m in biopharmaceutical company, Freeline Therapeutics (‘Freeline’).

Freeline is developing and commercialising gene therapies for bleeding and other life threatening or debilitating disorders. The therapies, which are from one single treatment, have the potential to provide long-term benefits to patients by carrying a therapeutic gene to a target cell in the body.

Freeline was founded in December 2015 by Syncona LLP (‘Syncona’) and UCL Business, the wholly-owned technology transfer company of UCL.

This is UCLTF’s third investment since inception and has been made alongside Syncona’s £25 million Series A financing.

Freeline’s next-generation Adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy platform has been developed by Professor Amit Nathwani, Professor of Haematology at UCL, and it builds on the successful haemophilia B phase I/II trial that he conducted alongside the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

The results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that all ten treated haemophilia B patients showed a safe, sustained expression of blood clotting Factor IX from a single treatment.

About Freeline Therapeutics
Freeline Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company based at the UCL Royal Free London Hospital focused on the development of gene therapies for bleeding and other disorders. Gene therapy has the potential to transform lives for people with severe diseases by providing a long-lasting, safe and reliable source of enzymes to the blood. The Company’s human adapted AAV vector platform is being utilised to advance therapies through the clinic and its shareholders include Syncona LLP and UCL.

For further information please visit the Company’s website at: www.freelinetx.com

About the 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 Ventures, 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

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.

For further information, please visit: www.uclb.com

About Syncona
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 an independent subsidiary of the Wellcome Trust that invested the initial £200m capitalisation.

For further information please visit the Company’s website at: www.synconallp.com

About Albion Ventures LLP
Albion Ventures LLP is a leading venture capital investor which has been managing investments in small unquoted UK companies since 1996. Albion manages or provides management services in respect of over £400 million. In addition to six Albion VCTs, it manages the UCL Technology Fund and provides management services to Albion Community Power PLC and Albion Care Communities.

For further information, please visit: www.albion-ventures.co.uk

About UCL
Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has almost 29,000 students from 150 countries and in the region of 10,000 employees.

For further information, please visit: www.ucl.ac.uk