Syncona targets AAV success through creation of Spur Therapeutics

Life sciences investor Syncona has formed Spur Therapeutics after its recent gene therapy acquisition Freeline acquired inherited neurological disorder firm SwanBio.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

June 18, 2024

1 Min Read

Through Freeline Therapeutics, acquired for $28 million late last year,  Syncona has added another adeno-associated virus (AAV) based early-phase biotech in the form of SwanBio Therapeutics. Following the deal, Syncona has combined Freeline and SwanBio under a new company, Spur Therapeutics, which it values at £105 million ($133 million).

“The creation of Spur is a compelling opportunity to bring together two highly complementary companies progressing gene therapies which address debilitating diseases, whilst supporting a broader pipeline in more prevalent disorders,” Chris Hollowood, CEO of Syncona and chair of the new entity said.

Spur's lead gene therapy candidate FLT201 is in a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of Gaucher disease Type 1. The AAV gene therapy candidate is designed to generate durable increases in glucocerebrosidase and reduce the accumulation of harmful substrates, with an aim to provide a one-time treatment for patients with the disease.

The addition of SwanBio brings Phase I/II candidate SBT101, an AAV-based gene therapy targeting adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a central nervous system (CNS) disorder for which there is currently no approved treatment.

Syncona will commit a further £40 million to Spur to support the development of its expanded pipeline as it looks to fulfil its life science strategy of building a diversified portfolio of 20-25 companies across numerous therapeutic areas and different stages of the development cycle.

The deal was heralded by industry on LinkedIn, with one commentator describing it as “a significant move” as it is “anticipated to generate synergies in clinical capabilities and manufacturing expertise, driving cost and operational efficiencies.”

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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