Syncona founded Gyroscope in 2016, to explore the convergence of advancements made in the understanding of the complement system’s impact on eye disease, the genetic basis of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and gene therapy as a mode of sustained treatment delivery. Gyroscope’s gene therapy seeks to treat dry AMD by safely and effectively delivering a functioning gene to the eye using Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) technology.
Dry AMD, a retinal disease, is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in people aged 50 and older, with no approved therapies. Gyroscope is focused on treating geographic atrophy (GA), a late stage of the disease, where there is no effective treatment for patients.
In December 2021 an agreement was reached for Novartis to acquire Gyroscope in a transaction worth up to $1.5 billion. This comprised $800 million in upfront payments and $700 million potentially due upon the achievement of certain milestones.
Founding building and funding a company through to value realisation:
- Founded in 2016 upon the research of the late Sir Peter Lachmann into Complement Factor I
- In 2019, Gyroscope merged with Orbit Biomedical, another Syncona company, bringing in house a high-quality surgical platform to develop and deliver its therapeutics commercially
- Syncona invested £34 million in the business at the Series A, £48 million at the Series B, and £31 million in its syndicated Series C
- Sold to Novartis in February 2022 for up to $1.5 billion, becoming at the time the fourth largest UK biotech exit
- Initial proceeds to Syncona of £325 million, a 2.9 multiple on cost and 50% IRR
- Based on the valuation of the milestone payments on closing, the transaction has the potential to deliver an estimated IRR of 57%, and a multiple of 3.3 of original cost