London, 19 June 2018 – Freeline Therapeutics Ltd (“Freeline”), a clinical stage company focused on treatment of chronic systemic diseases with liver targeted adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy, announces today that it has raised over £88 million of new capital in a Series B financing round. Syncona Ltd (“Syncona”) led the new investment committing £85 million, with The UCL Technology Fund, committing £3.4 million to the series B funding. This augments the previous £33.5 million Series A investment from founding investor Syncona.
The funds will enable Freeline to drive its leading programs in Haemophilia B and Fabry Disease through clinical development and support the progress of the pipeline. In addition, it enables Freeline to further enhance its already substantial manufacturing and analytics capabilities with the aim of delivering high quality novel products to patients
Freeline was set up in 2015 through a partnership between UCLB and Syncona, to further develop and commercialise the work of Professor Armit Nathwani emanating from his work at the UCL Cancer Institute. Professor Nathwani’s work has been generously supported by the MRC and the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre (UCLH NIHR BRC)
Anne Prener, Chief Executive Officer of Freeline, said
“We are delighted to have secured Series B financing with Syncona and UCLTF today which will enable us to continue to expand the portfolio of clinical stage programmes and our proprietary manufacturing platform. Freeline has made significant progress and is now a clinical stage company with an exciting pipeline of innovative products for diseases with significant unmet needs and extensive manufacturing capabilities. Establishing our fully integrated AAV gene therapy platform has been a key focus since the Company’s inception, allowing secure and timely manufacture of products using our cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. The additional funding will enable us to continue this important work.”
Notes for Editors:
Freeline Therapeutics Ltd. is a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company based in the UK and in Germany. Our 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.
Our gene therapy treatment builds upon the pioneering work by the Freeline 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 (NEJM papers 2011 and 2014 links are mentioned below).
Our 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 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. 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.
About the National Institute for Health Research
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.
Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR:
- funds high quality research to improve health
- trains and supports health researchers
- provides world-class research facilities
- works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
- involves patients and the public at every step
For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).
Syncona is a leading FTSE250 healthcare company focused on investing in and building global leaders in life science. Syncona’s vision is to deliver transformational treatments to patients in truly innovative areas of healthcare while generating superior returns for shareholders. Its current investment portfolio consists of seven high quality companies in life science and a leading range of fund investments.
Syncona seeks to partner with the best, brightest and most ambitious minds in science to build globally competitive businesses. It is an established leader in gene therapy, cell therapy and advanced diagnostics, and focuses on delivering dramatic efficacy for patients in areas of high unmet need.
Syncona’s fund investments represent a productively deployed evergreen funding base which enables the business to take a long term approach to investing in life sciences as its targets the best new opportunities and supports its existing portfolio companies to grow and succeed.
Syncona is aligned with two of the premium charitable funders in UK science, the Wellcome Trust, original founder of Syncona, and Cancer Research UK, both of which are significant shareholders in the business. Syncona makes a donation of 0.3% of Net Asset Value to a range of charities each year.
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
Albion Capital Group LLP
Albion Capital is a leading independent investment manager with a long-term record of partnering ambitious business. The Albion Group has funds of just over £1 billion under investment management or administration and has increasingly focussed on technology, specifically software and tech enabled services and medical technology. Four Albion companies were represented in the 2017 Sunday Times Tech Track 100. Albion Capital Group LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.