Freeline announces senior leadership transition and completion of Series B financing milestones
Freeline, a biotechnology company focused on developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic diseases, today announces that Anne Prener has completed her strategic objective of bringing Freeline into the clinic with two programs and is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer. Under Anne’s leadership, the Company has made excellent progress, enrolling several cohorts of patients in a Phase 1/2 study for Haemophilia B and preparing to enroll patients in its Fabry program in the coming weeks.
These clinical milestones have secured Freeline’s final tranche of the £88.4 million Series B financing round from Syncona Ltd and the investment arm of University College London. The Company is now well positioned to attract a new CEO with commercial experience to lead Freeline through late-stage clinical development and product launch. An executive search, led by Egon Zehnder, is underway for the Chief Executive role. In the interim period, Freeline Chairman and Syncona Chief Investment Officer, Chris Hollowood, will act as Executive Chairman.
Anne joined Freeline in mid-2017, when the Company was in preclinical development with its lead program with an additional three programs in the research phase. At the time, Freeline had two locations and fewer than 50 people. Today, under her leadership, the Company has grown into a fully integrated research, clinical development and manufacturing organisation with 140 employees in four locations, including two sites in the UK and one each in Germany and the US.
Chris Hollowood said: “We are very grateful to Anne for the valuable contributions she has made in bringing Freeline to this important milestone in its development. Under her leadership, in partnership with Syncona, the Company has grown into a leading clinical stage systemic gene therapy company with a strong pipeline and a world class team of 140 professionals operating out of four sites on two continents. She has provided an excellent foundation for the Company and been instrumental in the success we have had to date. On behalf of Syncona and UCL, I would like to thank Anne for her service to Freeline and, most importantly, to the patients whose lives will be transformed by our medicines.”
Anne Prener, Chief Executive Officer of Freeline said: “It has been a privilege to lead Freeline over such an important stage of its development as it established itself as a clinical stage company with a broad and exciting pipeline and secured the largest funding round Syncona has yet provided to any of its portfolio companies. With these achievements complete, now is the appropriate time for me to return full time to the US and hand Freeline over to a commercially experienced CEO to drive the Company through the next phases of its growth. I wish the team every future success.”
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Freeline is a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on AAV based gene therapy targeting the liver. Our vision is to create better lives for people suffering from chronic systemic diseases using the potential of gene therapy as a one-time curative treatment. Freeline is headquartered in the UK and has operations in Germany and the US.