THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION (EU) NO.596/2014 AND IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF SUCH JURISDICTION
NightstaRx completes US$45m Series C investment round
28 June 2017
· Syncona invests US$12.5 million and retains a 46 per cent stake in the business while attracting new investment from leading global institutional investors
· Syncona’s investment in NightstaRx written up by £20.3 million (3.1p per share) to £69.7 million
Syncona Ltd (“Syncona”), a leading healthcare company focused on investing in and building global leaders in life science, today announces that its portfolio company NightstaRx (“Nightstar”) has completed a US$45 million Series C funding round in which Syncona has committed US$12.5 million.
The funding round resulted in a write-up of Syncona’s investment in Nightstar to £69.7 million1, a £20.3 million1 (3.1p per share) uplift to Syncona’s proforma valuation of £49.4 million1,. Syncona has retained a 46 per cent stake in the business (previously 55 per cent). Nightstar also attracted investment in this round from existing shareholder New Enterprise Associates (“NEA”) and new leading international institutional investors.
Syncona launched Nightstar in 2014 with Professor Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford. The business specialises in developing gene therapies for inherited retinal dystrophies and is building a pipeline of ophthalmology gene therapy product candidates for the treatment of devastating diseases. Its most advanced program is in clinical trials for the treatment of choroideremia, a rare disease which causes permanent loss of eyesight and for which there is currently no other treatment. It has also commenced clinical trials for a second program to treat X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa in March of this year. This latest round of funding will enable Nightstar to further progress its pipeline.
Syncona’s Chief Investment Officer and Nightstar Chairman, Chris Hollowood, said: “Since launching Nightstar in 2014, we have focused on setting the business up for long term success as it seeks to fulfil its goal to become a global leader in gene therapies for inherited blinding conditions. We are delighted to continue to play a significant role in the business which has attracted leading international institutional investors who are aligned with our vision. We look forward to working with the Company’s shareholders and management team to bring this to fruition.”
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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 Ltd. 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 and forecasts. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast.
Syncona is a leading FTSE250 healthcare company focused on investing in and building global leaders in life science. Our vision is to deliver transformational treatments to patients in truly innovative areas of healthcare while generating superior returns for shareholders. Our current investment portfolio consists of seven high quality companies in life science and a leading range of fund investments.
We seek to partner with the best, brightest and most ambitious minds in science to build globally competitive businesses. We are established leaders in gene therapy, cell therapy and advanced diagnostics, and focus on delivering dramatic efficacy for patients in areas of high unmet need.
Our market leading funds portfolio seeks to generate superior returns by investing in long only and alternative investment funds. This represents a productively deployed evergreen funding base which enables us to take a long term approach to investing in life sciences as we target the best new opportunities and support our 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 our business. We make a donation of 0.3% of Net Asset Value to a range of charities each year.
Nightstar is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of gene therapies for inherited retinal dystrophies.
Nightstar’s most advanced program, NSR-REP1, is in clinical trials for the treatment of choroideremia, a rare disease which causes permanent loss of eyesight and for which there is no other treatment. The gene therapy is delivered by injection into the retina, providing a working copy of the disease-causing faulty gene locally in the eye. The disease modifying technology has the potential to maintain and restore sight in patients, from a single administration.
Nightstar is building a pipeline of ophthalmology gene therapy product candidates based on its manufacturing, gene therapy and retinal surgery capabilities for the treatment of devastating rare retinal diseases.
 Based on third party funding round and at 27 June 2017 foreign exchange rates.
 Comprising 30 April 2017 valuation of £38.0m, completion of Series B funding of £1.6m and Series C financing investment of US$12.5m (£9.8m).