Syncona Half Year Results for the Period Ending 30 September 2022

Syncona Ltd, (“Syncona”), a leading healthcare company focused on creating, building and scaling a portfolio of global leaders in life science, today announces its Half Year Results for the six-month period ending 30 September 2022.

Key highlights:

  • Positive operational and clinical progress across the portfolio against a challenging macro backdrop in the six-month period
  • Successful first decade of Syncona; proven ability to build life science companies to a global standard, delivering a portfolio IRR of 26% and 15 clinical programmes progressed through clinical trials
  • Growth plans outlined today for the next 10 years with ambition to organically grow net assets to £5 billion
  • Announcement of key organisational changes to support growth plans:
    • Chris Hollowood is stepping up into the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Investment Manager, Syncona Investment Management (SIML), leading the delivery of the growth plans for the next 10 years and managing the team, alongside creating new companies and managing portfolio companies
    • Martin Murphy will be Chair of SIML and will continue sourcing and driving the creation of new companies, alongside managing portfolio companies
    • Number of promotions across the team to Senior and Lead Partners
  • Natural evolution of responsibilities of the senior team to deliver growth plans for the next 10 years
  • Financial performance
    • Net assets of £1,365.9 million (31 March 2022: £1,309.8 million); 202.9p per share (31 March 2022: 194.4p per share), a NAV total return of 4.3% 
    • Life science portfolio, valued at £602.6 million (31 March 2021: £524.9 million), a 3.9% return
    • Performance driven by the positive impact of foreign exchange across the life science portfolio and capital pool, generating an aggregate £112.6 million uplift to NAV, which more than offset the (£49.2 million) impact from the decline in share prices of our listed holdings
    • Capital base of £763.3 million (31 March 2022: £784.9 million), deploying £58.6 million of capital in the six-month period
  • Continue to identify exciting opportunities to create world-class companies and expand the portfolio, making a £16.0 million commitment to Kesmalea Therapeutics (“Kesmalea”), and a post-period announcement of an all-cash tender offer for Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (“AGTC”), a NASDAQ listed clinical- stage retinal gene therapy company

Martin Murphy, CEO and Chair, Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “I am very proud this year to be celebrating 10 years since I co-founded Syncona, alongside the Wellcome Trust. At foundation, we set out to change the way life science companies were built and funded in the UK and I believe our achievements over the last decade demonstrate the success of our approach, and the expertise and commitment of our people.

Today, we are setting out our vision to scale Syncona over the next 10 years which will deliver an expanded portfolio, develop more ground-breaking medicines, organically grow our net assets to £5 billion and deliver strong returns for our shareholders. As part of these plans, I am particularly excited that Chris will be stepping up into the role of Chief Executive Officer, whilst I will be Chair of SIML. I look forward to working closely alongside him to deliver on our purpose and vision for all our stakeholders. We are investing in and building our platform for growth at an exciting time for our industry.”

Chris Hollowood, CIO of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “Over the six-month period, whilst our listed holdings have continued primarily to be impacted by market conditions, this has been outweighed by the positive impact of foreign exchange movements across our diversified portfolio and capital pool, with net assets increasing by 4.3%. Syncona was set up with an evergreen balance sheet to ensure we could navigate the market cycle and the strength of our model has been demonstrated in the six months, enabling us to continue to identify exciting opportunities that become available in these challenging market conditions.

Looking ahead, the UK’s scientific research base continues to be right at the forefront of global innovation and our team continue to see significant opportunity to create more companies based on the hugely promising technology being developed to treat patients in real need. To realise the potential of our strategy and model, we have looked at how we can leverage our successes and apply the lessons we have learnt over the last 10 years to further grow the business. I am delighted to be stepping up into the role of CEO and alongside Martin and the senior team, leading Syncona through its next phase of growth as we build more global leaders in life science, develop life changing medicines and deliver strong returns for shareholders. The future is exciting.”

Melanie Gee, Chair of Syncona Limited, said: “We have outlined today our enhanced strategy to deliver growth for our shareholders over the next 10 years. We are excited by the opportunity ahead of us and look forward to continuing to leverage Martin and Chris’ leadership and expertise as they drive our maturing business through its next stage of growth. What Syncona has achieved over the last 10 years since Martin co-founded the business with the Wellcome Trust, has been truly remarkable. Under his leadership the business has grown from a start-up to a FTSE 250 listed business that has already made a significant social contribution. Looking ahead, we believe that the changes outlined today have the potential to increase the impact Syncona’s portfolio companies have on patients in areas of high unmet medical need.”

To listen to the audio webcast at 9am GMT, where management will be discussing today’s results and setting out Syncona’s plans to scale for growth over the next decade, click on this link.

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