Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on creating, building and scaling global leaders in life science, has been informed by Novartis, a leading global medicines company, that the development of GT005 (previously the lead asset at Gyroscope Holdings Limited) in Geographic Atrophy (GA) secondary to dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is to be discontinued.
Their decision was based on a recommendation from the Independent Data Monitoring Committee following an overall benefit risk assessment of available data from the programme studies, which concluded that overall data from the lead Phase II HORIZON study did not support continuation of the development programme.
Novartis has been responsible for the development of GT005 since completing the acquisition of Gyroscope from Syncona in February 2022. Syncona received upfront cash proceeds of $442 million (£326 million) for its holding in Gyroscope, from a total upfront cash consideration of $800 million (£587 million), which resulted in a 2.9 multiple of cost and 50% IRR. Syncona was also eligible for a series of further milestone payments in the event of successful clinical development and commercialisation. As at 30 June 2023, Syncona valued these potential milestone payments, the “Gyroscope milestone payments” at £54.5 million.
The decision taken by Novartis to stop development of GT005 will result in the Gyroscope milestone payments being written-off resulting in a negative £54.5 million valuation impact.
Chris Hollowood, CEO of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “We are naturally disappointed for patients following the decision to discontinue GT005, but we respect Novartis’ decision. We remain focussed on our strategy of building and maintaining our portfolio of companies providing significant opportunities to deliver strong risk-adjusted returns to our shareholders and to make a difference to the lives of patients with devastating diseases.”
Annabel Clark / Fergus Witt
Tel: +44 (0) 7714 916615
Ben Atwell / Natalie Garland-Collins / Tim Stamper
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Syncona's purpose is to invest to extend and enhance human life. We do this by creating and building companies to deliver transformational treatments to patients in areas of high unmet need.
Our strategy is to create, build and scale companies around exceptional science to create a diversified portfolio of 20-25 globally leading healthcare businesses, across development stage and therapeutic areas, for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We focus on developing treatments for patients by working in close partnership with world-class academic founders and management teams. Our balance sheet underpins our strategy enabling us to take a long-term view as we look to improve the lives of patients with no or poor treatment options, build sustainable life science companies and deliver strong risk-adjusted returns to shareholders.
This announcement includes information that is or may be inside information. The person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of Syncona Ltd is Andrew Cossar, General Counsel, SIML.
 Risk-adjusted and discounted valuation