Syncona will acquire Freeline Therapeutics to aid development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy candidate FLT201.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

November 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Syncona bids $28m to progress Gaucher disease gene therapy

Life science investment firm Syncona will acquire Freeline Therapeutics to aid development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy candidate FLT201. 

UK-based investment firm Syncona will provide $15 million debt financing support to the biotech to develop its gene therapy candidate FLT201, to treat Gaucher disease. 

FLT201 is Freeline’s AAV gene therapy candidate. According to the spokesperson, FLT201 is designed to generate durable increases in glucocerebrosidase and reduce the accumulation of harmful substrates. The aim of this therapy is to provide a one-time treatment that can stop disease progression, improve outcomes, and free people from lifelong treatment. 

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“We are encouraged by the data from the FLT201 program and are pleased with how Freeline is executing, but the company needs further funding to continue to drive FLT201 through clinical development,” Chris Hollowood, CEO of Syncona, told BioProcess Insider

The proceeds from this acquisition will contribute to Freeline’s Galileo-1 trial for FLT201for Gaucher disease type I, and to further advance its GBA1-linked Parkinson’s disease research program. 

“The challenging market conditions impacting the biotech sector have presented a differentiated opportunity to support the company as a private entity. We look forward to working with the team to deliver on its next milestones.” 

As per the agreement, Syncona will pay $6.50 for each remaining share of the biotech, instead of the initial offer that was made at $5. This is equivalent to a 51% premium over the closing price announced in October 2023. 

With the aim to develop gene therapies for chronic diseases, the acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, subject to approval by Freeline’s other shareholders. 

In 2020, the clinical-stage biotechnology company, Freeline used proceeds from a $120 million extended Series C financing to develop its AAV gene therapy platform and expand its manufacturing capabilities. The round was led by Novo Holdings A/S, Eventide Asset Management and Wellington Management Company, with additional participation from Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures and Ample Plus Fund.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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