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QuotedData’s morning briefing 19 January 2024 – ORIT, VNH, SYNC

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In QuotedData’s morning briefing 19 January 2024:

  • Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) has announced that it has terminated its option to acquire 175MW of ready-to-build solar projects in Spain. ORIT originally entered into a conditional acquisition agreement over the sites in 2020, but having reassessed the projects “on a risk-adjusted basis” and taking into account its approach to capital allocation, ORIT says that it has concluded that exiting the option at a value above its holding value was a more attractive proposition than committing to the construction. ORIT has been refunded its initial deposit paid and has in addition negotiated a termination payment from the vendor. This has resulted in a net gain on the investment of approximately £3.0m over the €2.0m initial deposit or approximately £1.5m over the £3.2m holding valuation of the option at Q3 2023 It says that this is equivalent to a positive NAV impact of approximately +0.3 pence per Ordinary Share compared with the valuation of the option at 30 September 2023.
  • Craig Martin, the CEO of Dynam Capital, the investment manager of Vietnam Holding (VNH), has added to his holding in VNH, purchasing 6,300 in the open market at 328p per share.
  • Syncona’s (SYNC’s) portfolio company Freeline Therapeutics has announced further safety, tolerability and enzyme activity data from the ongoing Phase I/II GALILEO-1 trial evaluating FLT201, its novel gene therapy candidate, in Gaucher disease, a debilitating genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the GCase enzyme. Syncona’s CEO, Chris Hollowood, says that the data released to date from Freeline continues to show the transformative potential of the FLT201 therapy to target the root cause of Gaucher disease and provide a one-time, targeted treatment. Here’s a summary for those interested in the more technical aspects of the new data. Freeline says that it has now dosed five patients in the Phase I/II GALILEO-1 trial to date. Of these, four patients had evaluable data and FLT201 continued to be well tolerated with no serious adverse events observed and all treatment-related adverse events were mild. FLT201 continued to induce robust increases in plasma GCase activity demonstrating strong expression from the liver, while the levels of plasma GCase for the first three patients dosed in the trial peaked between 9- and 11-weeks post-dosing (it also says that the levels of GCase in the first two patients reduced from these peaks as the patients finished the prophylactic immune management regimen in line with what has been seen in other gene therapies). Normalisation of GCase activity in leukocytes was observed within four weeks of dosing; a key parameter for patients with Gaucher disease. Patient 1 levels at the most recent timepoint are below the normal range but remain substantially above baseline. All other patients remain above the normal range. Alaine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme that is found in the liver and can be used as a marker of liver toxicity or damage. Freeline says that controlling the level of ALTs in patients that receive liver-directed gene therapy is believed to be key to ensuring long-term stable expression of the therapy. ALTs remain in the normal range for all patients that entered the study in the normal range, although one patient who entered the study with mildly elevated ALTs has remained within 2.5 times the upper limit of normal. Lyso-Gb1 is a well-established biomarker of clinical response in Gaucher disease and reductions in lyso-Gb1 correlate with positive clinical outcomes for Gaucher patients and Freeline says that substantial reductions in lyso-Gb1 levels have been seen in two patients who entered the trial with elevated levels despite receiving enzyme replacement therapy or substrate reduction therapy. Syncona expects further data from the trial to be published in the second half of 2024.

Shareholding disclosures for the following companies have been issued since we published yesterday’s morning briefing:

  • Pantheon Infrastructure – Quilter has increased its holding from 7.29% to 9.29% (all equity – no financial instruments held).

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