A transformative year for Syncona

Syncona has announced its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2017. It was a year that the company describes as ‘transformative’ with strong performance across the business. It lists the following highlights: Net assets at year end of £895.2m, 136.0p per share, a total return of 12.5%; Successful completion of the acquisition of Syncona Partners by BACIT in December 2016; Investment policy expanded and name change from BACIT to Syncona; Acquisition of portfolio of life science investments and investment team from the Wellcome Trust; £357.1m of shares issued including £169.6m of new capital raised from new and existing investors; Evolution to concentrate on creating, investing in and building global leaders in life science; and a dividend of 2.3p declared (2016: 2.2p).

Strong performance across the investment portfolio

Syncona says that it life science portfolio value increased by £24.9m (12.4%) to £226.6m since acquisition in December 2016, driven by significant strategic and commercial progress in Blue Earth Diagnostics. Its Funds portfolio was valued at £582.4m at year end, a net total return of 11.8%; which it says is a 44.8% total return since inception in 2012 or 8.8% per annum.

Life science portfolio progressing to plan

Syncona says that its life science portfolio is progressing, on plan, to deliver strong strategic progress over the next year. It says that it expects to invest approximately £75 million – £150 million in new and existing life science investments, this financial year, and that key milestones include:

  • Blue Earth, Syncona’s PET imaging agent company, will commence sales of Axumin in Europe and continue its positive commercial trajectory in the US
  • NightstaRx, Syncona’s gene therapy company targeting inherited forms of blindness, completed a US$45 million Series C fundraising in June and will initiate a pivotal Phase III trial in choroideremia and progress its Phase I/II trials for X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Autolus, Syncona’s T cell immunotherapy company focused on the treatment of cancer, will commence three clinical trials in Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and T Cell Lymphoma.

Funds portfolio is well positioned; emphasis on containing volatility

Syncona says that its funds portfolio is well positioned to continue to generate attractive risk adjusted returns through the cycle and that, given its changed investment parameters, the portfolio is transitioning to focus on more liquid assets with an even greater emphasis on containing volatility.

About Syncona

Syncona (formerly Battle Against Cancer Investment Trust or BACIT) aims to be a leading, self-managed, life science investment company. It has absorbed funds managed by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK and is transitioning its portfolio from that of a global fund of funds.

A transformative year for Syncona : SYNC

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