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Cells in Culture

T-cells killing tumour cell targets

UCL Cancer Institute


Killer T -cell attacking tumour cell


Nov/Dec 2013
Initial meetings between UCL, Dr Martin Pule and Syncona about engineered T-cell technology.
H1 2014
Syncona starts deep due diligence into the CAR T-cell opportunity; Develops the company plan with founder, Dr Martin Pule; Key technologies prioritized to provide a competitive advantage.
Sept 2014
Syncona founds Autolus with £30m Series A financing, and Syncona partner Edward Hodgkin appointed CEO.
March 2015 to March 2016
Management team recruited, including Chief Medical Officer and heads of manufacturing, IP and clinical operations.
Sept 2015
Autolus occupies custom-built laboratories in west London.
March 2016
Autolus closes a £40m Series B financing, and implements a licence agreement with UCL for additional technologies; Christian Itin appointed CEO.
Nov 2016
Autolus secures commercial manufacturing capability

Company Details


Engineered T-Cell Therapies for Cancer

Fully diluted ownership


Value of Syncona holding


% of nav



Autolus is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of engineered T-cell immunotherapy products for haematological and solid tumours, based on its proprietary T-cell programming technology.

The shortcomings of current CAR treatment include a lack of selective tumour targeting mechanisms, serious side-effects associated with efficacy and the inability to overcome the hostile solid tumour microenvironment.

The Autolus approach uses a patient’s own immune cells (T-cells) to target and destroy cancerous cells and provide long-term protection from disease. The T-cells are collected from the patient’s blood, re-engineered outside the body, and returned to the patient where they mount an immune response and kill tumour cells.

Blood cancers, including lymphomas, leukaemias and multiple myeloma, represent 10% of all cancer diagnoses, with around 58,000 deaths in the US in 2016.


Christian Itin

Syncona Representatives
  • Martin Murphy
  • Edward Hodgkin
CSO & Founder
  • Martin Pule
“My ambition is to build a substantial company which can deliver CAR T-cell therapies to patients. Most investors were only interested in developing certain assets with a view to sell them on again, but Syncona was different and shared the long-term goal to create a sustainable business around a portfolio of technologies. They have backed this with a £30m investment and ongoing operational and strategic support”

Martin Pule – Founder of Autolus