Investor and founder in life science companies Syncona (SYNC) said on Tuesday it had raised an additional funding for gene therapy specialist Freeline at a higher valuation giving Syncona shares a 3.5% boost to 248p.

The fund raise was in addition to the $40 million investment Syncona made in December 2019 and brings the total series C financing to $120 million.

The latest tranche, which was priced at a premium to the value on Syncona’s books, attracted specialist global institutional investors including Danish quoted healthcare firm Novo Holding A/S, Cowen Healthcare Investments and Acorn Bioventures.

Prior to the funding Syncona had a 79% economic interest in Freeline and the holding accounted for 12.1% of Syncona’s portfolio.

Following the financing Syncona has revalued its holding upwards by £30.8 million to £181.5 million, increasing the total portfolio  value while reducing its ownership of Freeline from 79% to 60%.

The cash will allow Freeline to continue with its lead programme in Haemophilia B to a pivotal study and progress plans to develop a manufacturing platform, including commercial supply capability.

POSSIBLE LISTING

In a separate announcement Sycona said it was considering additional capital raising options for Freeline which ‘could include an initial public offering in the US.’

While the company said a listing wasn’t assured, Broker Numis noted ‘the biotech IPO market has been strong recently, and with Freeline’s FLT180a data in Haemophilia B suggesting it may have a best in class gene therapy delivery platform, we are optimistic about the prospects of a successful IPO.’

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Issue Date: 30 Jun 2020