Our opportunity

Today, there is rising global demand for healthcare, fuelled by ageing global populations, increased knowledge and awareness amongst the patient community, and the growing prevalence of chronic diseases.

Global healthcare expenditures are projected to reach $8.7 trillion by 2020 (Deloitte, 2017). Healthcare is also expected to continue rising as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) globally, while life expectancies continue to lengthen.  

In this context, there is a high appetite and requirement for innovation in healthcare, which around the world continues to represent one of the last frontiers where recent advances in technology have not yet displaced previous methods on a mass scale. For those companies which can address these issues, the opportunities are vast. 

Syncona seeks to operate in areas of dramatic efficacy for patients. This services the dual purpose of both being good for patients, and good for healthcare systems which are in need of solutions which move the dial. This gives us confidence that, when our treatments make it all the way to market, they will be successful. 

We are at the forefront of a healthcare revolution

Catalysed by advances in genome technology in recent decades, the healthcare industry is seeing a new wave of therapies being developed which have the potential to treat some of the most devastating and intractable diseases. We call these therapies the 'Third Wave' and we have established a leadership position in these areas where we see significant opportunities to transform the treatment landscape for patients with a long-term approach.

Changing dynamics are driving the adoption of precision medicine

A new generation of healthcare - sequencing the human genome

The Human Genome Project was a 15-year project conducted by an international consortium including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Initiated in 1990, its objective was to determine the DNA sequence of the entire human genome.

The project was eventually completed two years ahead of schedule in 2003, and cost an estimated US$2.7 billion to complete. Since that time, the cost and time for sequencing a genome has come down dramatically, and the information has spurred a new age of discovery in medicine by enabling scientists to identify the genetic targets which cause disease.

Technology waves shaping the industry
Global analyst cumulative sales forecast for ‘Third Wave’ technologies 2018-2020.
Source: Thomson Reuters, Syncona analysis
Scientists’ current estimate of human diseases known to be monogenic, of which less than 100 are believed to have treatments today
Source: World Health Organisation, who.int/genomics
First three ‘Third Wave’ therapies approved in the US in 2017.
Source: Syncona analysis
Percentage value of ‘Third Wave’ companies on NASDAQ Biotech Index, up from 3 per cent in 2017.
Thomson Reuters, Syncona analysis

The power of the ‘Third Wave’ of healthcare: the arrival of genetic medicine

As a result of these developments, today we are in a new era where individualised analysis is based on each person’s genome, leading to more personalised, precise and even preventative medicine. Combined with advances in the understanding of the best diseases to target, advances in clinical performance and greater regulatory engagement, an age of discovery has commenced which has the potential to transform outcomes for patients with previously intractable diseases.

“I believe gene therapy will become a mainstay in treating, and maybe curing, many of our most devastating and intractable illnesses. We’re at a turning point when it comes to this novel form of therapy…”

Scott Gottlieb US FDA Commissioner, 19 December 2017, fda.gov

The arrival of gene therapy, genetically engineered cell therapy and the early emergence of gene editing offer the potential to address areas of high unmet need and transform patient treatments – even offering the potential of cures for certain diseases.

Syncona calls these areas the ‘Third Wave’ of healthcare. While we are still in the early stages of genetic medicine, over the past 12 months we have seen recognition from regulators and markets that these therapies are now ready to be delivered to patients, with the landmark approval of the first three gene therapies in the United States.

Syncona opportunity

Syncona has deep expertise in the ‘Third Wave’, giving it an opportunity to lead the genetic medicine space.

Genetic medicines

offer the potential to treat previously intractable diseases.


to revolutionise healthcare, disrupt business models and vastly improve patient outcomes.

No incumbants

greenfield markets with significant upside, deep expertise required.