Syncona makes two new investments – Resolution Therapeutics and Neogene Therapeutics
Following a collaboration agreement with the University of Edinburgh in 2018, Resolution has been founded by Syncona as a cell therapy company investigating the use of macrophages for the treatment of patients with end stage liver disease. In pre-clinical studies, macrophages have been well-documented as key agents of wound and injury repair in the liver, amongst other organs, and there is a growing body of evidence suggesting their use as therapeutic agents to treat cirrhosis of the liver caused by chronic liver diseases. Liver disease is a major burden on society, with 1-2 million people diagnosed with compensated liver cirrhosis in the US and EU5 per year. Current treatments, including lifestyle changes in the first instance, do not actively repair the liver, relying on early diagnosis before the onset of cirrhosis to be effective. There is therefore a strong unmet need for a regenerative therapy for patients with end stage liver disease.
Syncona has founded Resolution with a £26.8m commitment to a Series A financing, investing an initial first tranche of £0.4m to fund the formation of the team and intellectual property (IP) required to commence operations. The investment follows an earlier seed investment in 2018 of £1.4m which funded discovery work in the laboratory of Professor Stuart Forbes, a leading figure in the field of macrophages and liver regeneration and Professor of Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Syncona’s holding value in Resolution is £1.8m and, at the point full current commitments are invested, the company will have a 79% stake in Resolution. Martin Murphy, chief executive of Syncona Investment Management Limited, and Ed Hodgkin, partner, have joined the Resolution board as non-executive directors.
Syncona has co-led the $110.0m Series A financing round of Neogene, with a commitment of $19.0m (£14.8m) alongside specialist investors including EcoR1, Jeito Capital, Vida Ventures, Bellco Capital, Two River, and TPG, of which the first tranche of $15.2m (£11.9m) has been invested. The investment is valued at cost. Neogene was founded in 2019 around the work of world-class founders, Dr Ton Schumacher and Dr Carsten Linnemann, and is developing an engineered cell therapy product for solid tumours based on a patient’s own neoantigens. The Series A financing is intended to fund non-clinical validation of the company’s proprietary tumour-specific T-cell receptor gene isolation platform and a future Phase I study. Elisa Petris, partner of Syncona Investment Management Limited, has taken up the role of non-executive director on the Neogene board.
SYNC : Syncona makes two new investments