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Syncona invests in $56 million Series B financing of SwanBio Therapeutics

Syncona invests in $56 million Series B financing of SwanBio Therapeutics


18 May 2022


  • Syncona invests in SwanBio’s $56 million (£45 million) Series B financing round, committing $54 million (£44 million[1]), alongside investment from Mass General Brigham Ventures
  • Proceeds will primarily be used to support SwanBio’s ongoing clinical development of its lead candidate, SBT101, for adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), which is expected to enter the clinic this calendar year
  • Syncona’s holding value is now £96 million, following first tranche investment of $19 million (£16 million); on drawdown of the full Series B financing, Syncona's ownership stake in the business will be 80 per cent[2] 


Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding global leaders in life science, today announces that it has committed $54 million (£44 million) in a $56 million (£45 million) Series B financing in SwanBio Therapeutics (“SwanBio”), a gene therapy company advancing adeno-associated vector (AAV)-based therapies for the treatment of devastating, inherited neurological conditions. Syncona led the financing round alongside Mass General Brigham Ventures.


Following the drawdown of the full Series B financing, Syncona's ownership stake in SwanBio will be 80 per cent. Including the drawdown of the first tranche investment of $19 million (£16 million), Syncona’s holding value of SwanBio is now £96 million.


SwanBio is a gene therapy company co-founded by Syncona in 2018 to develop medicines for serious neurological diseases with significant unmet need. Its lead candidate, SBT101, is designed to treat a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease affecting the spine called adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN). There are currently no approved treatments for AMN, which emerges in adulthood and is characterised by a loss of mobility, incontinence, pain and sexual dysfunction.


In the US and Europe, between 8,000 and 10,000 men are living with this disease and their only option is managing its progressive and debilitating symptoms. SwanBio's gene therapy is looking to target the underlying cause of AMN - mutations of the ABCD1 gene - which lead to disrupted function of spinal cord cells and other tissues.


This latest financing round follows an expanded $77 million Series A financing in 2020, taking the total amount of money raised by SwanBio in its financings to date to $133 million. The proceeds will primarily be used to support the ongoing clinical development of SBT101, which is expected to enter the clinic later this year through the initiation of a Phase I/II study. The company has a pipeline of gene therapy candidates for other neurological conditions, with a focus on spinal cord-related disorders, and is applying learnings from the development of SBT101 to develop therapies for both monogenic and polygenic disorders, conditions caused by single genes or the combined effect of many genes, respectively.


Chris Hollowood, Chief Investment Officer of Syncona Investment Management Limited and Chair of SwanBio said: “Since our initial investment, SwanBio has made excellent progress, with the company rapidly advancing its lead programme for AMN towards the clinic. In parallel, the company has built the platform capabilities that will allow it to advance its broader pipeline of AAV gene therapies for spinal cord-related disorders towards clinical development. We are excited by the potential we see in this business to become a leading gene therapy company delivering life changing treatments to patients with debilitating neurological disorders.”


Tom Anderson, Chief Executive Officer and Director of SwanBio said: “We are determined in our pursuit of AAV-based therapies targeting the root cause of disease, and are building our pipeline to develop treatments where there is a significant unmet need. The strategic decisions we make as a company are motivated by our drive to help those affected by neurological diseases as soon as possible because they can’t wait – and we don’t want them to.”

[1] FX rates at 17 May 2022. Includes previously invested convertible loan of $24 million plus accrued interest

[2] Percentage holding reflects Syncona's ownership stake at the point full current commitments are invested on a fully-diluted basis

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Last Updated: 18-May-2022