Syncona Investors - SYNC

Syncona Investors - SYNC

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Stock Name Stock Symbol Market Stock Type
Syncona Limited SYNC London Ordinary Share
  Price Change Price Change % Stock Price Last Trade
1.50 0.75% 201.50 16:35:11
Open Price Low Price High Price Close Price Previous Close
200.50 199.80 203.00 201.50 200.00
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rambutan2: Finals out, all in all, quite good: The second half of CY2021 was marked by significant volatility across equity markets globally. This uncertainty has carried on into 2022, compounded by concerns around inflation, interest rates and Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. This has impacted investor sentiment towards risk assets. We have seen a macro rotation away from growth stocks, impacting both valuations and financings of biotech companies, especially smaller, earlier stage companies. As market volatility has increased, the Syncona team continues to carefully review the requirements of each of our portfolio companies and our capital pool to ensure that our Company is well positioned to navigate continuing challenging markets. Our balance sheet provides us with a strategic advantage, and the team's expertise and rigorous approach to risk management means we continue to take a disciplined approach to capital allocation across a well-funded portfolio and exciting pipeline. Syncona ended the year with net assets of GBP1,309.8 million or 194.4p per share, a 0.3 per cent return in the year (31 March 2021: net assets of GBP1,300.3 million, NAV per share of 193.9p, 4.4 per cent return), despite the wider market backdrop for life science companies, which saw the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index decline 12 per cent during the period. The significant NAV uplift achieved through the sale of Gyroscope to Novartis and multiple successful private financings offset the decline in share prices of our three listed companies, Autolus, Freeline and Achilles. We recognise that the performance of these listed companies has been disappointing for our shareholders. Our team have worked closely with portfolio company management teams to support them as they continue to execute their development plans. Similarly, the challenging market conditions have also impacted Syncona's share price performance in the financial year, which has been disappointing. Whilst the market environment for early stage biotech companies continues to be challenging, our listed companies are funded to deliver clinical data which represent key milestones for their businesses, and we believe Syncona is well positioned to deliver growth over the long term.
rambutan2: And to balance things out: Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding global leaders in life science, today announces that it has committed GBP15 million in an oversubscribed GBP75.5 million Series B financing in OMass Therapeutics ("OMass"), a biotechnology company that identifies medicines against highly validated target ecosystems. Syncona was a co-investor in this financing round, which was led by new investors GV, Northpond and Sanofi Ventures. Existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises and Oxford University also joined the round. OMass, an Oxford University spin out, is developing small molecule drugs to treat rare diseases and immunological conditions. The company has a unique approach to the way it finds new medicines. It uses its proprietary drug discovery platform, OdyssION(TM), to more accurately interrogate the target and how it interacts with its native ecosystem. These observations provide potentially critical information that can increase the chances of finding highly effective small molecule medicines that will be successful in clinical trials. This latest financing brings the total amount that OMass has raised to GBP119 million. These proceeds will be used to advance OMass' small molecule portfolio towards clinical trials. This includes progressing the development of small molecule drugs to treat Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and other inflammatory and rare diseases. Following the Series B financing, Syncona has revalued its existing investment which has resulted in a 32% uplift in the value of its stake in OMass. Including the drawdown of the first tranche of Syncona's Series B investment of GBP15 million, Syncona's holding value of OMass is now GBP44 million. On drawdown of the full Series B financing, Syncona's ownership stake in OMass will be 31 per cent. Edward Hodgkin, Chair of OMass and Partner at Syncona said: "We are pleased with this financing round which will support OMass as it looks to progress its pipeline of small molecule drugs. The strength of this global group of top tier life science investors reflects confidence in the company's technology and supports our ambition to build a sustainable therapeutics business that has the potential to develop novel drugs in areas of high unmet medical need . This financing represents a further validation of the ability of Syncona's portfolio companies to attract high quality syndicates, to fund them over the long-term."
rambutan2: Noted, from today: Last Friday, SwanBio Therapeutics laid off about one-quarter of its 60-person workforce, a person with knowledge of the matter told Endpoints News. The gene therapy biotech was unable to secure an additional round of financing in the first quarter after investors backed out of the round, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. It’s been 24 months since the Philadelphia-area biotech disclosed it had expanded its Series A to bring total financing to $77 million. So, like dozens of other biotechs in recent months, SwanBio convened a hybrid meeting on April 22 to let the affected employees know. Just three days prior, the startup said it would be the first to test an AAV gene therapy for patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy. A Phase I/II clinical trial is slated for the second half of this year, the biotech said April 19. The investigational therapy, dubbed SBT101, has received fast track and orphan drug designations from the FDA in recent months. A SwanBio spokesperson declined to comment on the layoffs and financing, noting as a private company, the biotech is "intentional about how and when we disclose information."
markr5: Hi Tiger Blue, it looks like we may have bought at just the right time! Perhaps it was Peel Hunt (Thanks for this info) highlighting the discount that helped today's share price increase. It is reassuring to know that you have met with the company several times. I'm only a small private investor, and still learning, but I am drawn to the contrarian approach, in general.It's great to have some experienced company. Are there any others that are out of favour that you are considering at present? Although it appears to be a contradiction to the contrarian approach, I am contemplating researching the Private equity sector Investment trusts next, as i think they will continue to do well into the future (I'm looking for some long-term buy and holds for my SIPP).
robow: tipped in The Telegraph today as their Investment Trust of the year Questor: this trust just sold a holding for £600m – and its entire market value is only £1.4bn Questor investment trust bargain: it’s not the first big success for Syncona, the life sciences incubator, and we expect plenty more to come By Richard Evans 6 January 2022 • 6:00am On Wednesday we chose a healthcare company as our stock tip of the year, on the basis not only of our expectations of its own recovery but because of investors’ recent aversion to the sector as a whole. We will double down on that belief today and pick our investment trust of the year from the same arena. Our choice, Syncona, is an unusual beast: it invests in young life sciences companies with a view to holding them through the various stages of drug discovery, clinical trials, commercialisation and perhaps an eventual stock market listing. This is not the first time we have tipped the trust; we first did so in 2018 and have reiterated the advice since. Some readers will not thank us as the shares have lost 22.7pc since that first tip. Why then are we backing the fund again? Simply because we think the market fails to see its potential or perhaps does not have the patience to wait for that potential to become apparent in actual profits. As we said on Wednesday, generating returns from the scientific breakthroughs at which the healthcare sector excels takes time, while many investors have made fortunes over the past couple of years from spotting the immediate bounty on offer from Covid winners such as Microsoft. Syncona’s portfolio currently consists of 12 companies and it aims to increase that number to between 15 and 20. Several can offer concrete evidence of progress: collectively 12 of their treatments are undergoing clinical trials and three have already floated on the stock market. Of four companies no longer in the portfolio, two, Blue Earth and Nightstar, were sold for impressive gains of 9.9 and 4.5 times the amount invested respectively, while the other two proved unviable and were wound up. A 50pc success rate is good when you are seeking to build businesses from nothing in a sector that teems with scientific, regulatory and commercial risks. But it is the fund’s most recent deal that cements our belief that its managers are equal to the challenge and can be expected to produce a regular stream of lucrative winners. Just before Christmas Syncona announced that it had agreed to sell its 48.5pc stake in one of its holdings, Gyroscope Therapeutics, which makes gene therapies for blindness, for up to £589m. The fund had co-founded Gyroscope in 2016 and funded it since but the really striking thing is how that £589m figure, admittedly the maximum proceeds, compares with the value that the market currently ascribes to the entire trust: just £1.4bn. Investors seem to be expressing scepticism that any other holdings, current or future, will generate returns along the lines of those achieved by Gyroscope. In view of that 50pc success rate on investments already exited, such a view seems very pessimistic to this column. Or perhaps the market was spooked by what seemed, before this deal emerged, to be a lofty premium on the fund of 29pc, or a sky-high 69pc implied on the unquoted part of the portfolio. Gyroscope’s sale brings the overall premium down to 7.3pc and that on the unquoted part to 26pc, according to calculations carried out by JP Morgan Cazenove, the broker, on the day the deal was announced. Questor’s view is simple: the sales of Gyroscope, Blue Earth and Nightstar, along with the flotations of other holdings such as Autolus, show that this fund knows its business. We therefore expect similar success stories in future and the generation of returns that will comfortably exceed its current market value. The only proviso is that it won’t happen overnight and so readers will have to show more patience than perhaps with other Questor tips. As we have said before, it’s one to buy and tuck away. Questor says: buy Ticker: SYNC
sev22: The Syncona Investment Trust, a member of Interactive Investor’s ACE 40 rated list of ethical investments, has reported its latest half-yearly results (11th November 2021): Syncona Ord (SYNC) investment trust, which invests in life science companies, reported a decline in net asset value of 11.4% for the first six months of its financial year – from the end of March to the end of September. Over this period, the trust reported that its net assets sat at £1.15 billion, down from £1.3 billion at the end of March 2021. Figures from FE Analytics show that over this period its share price total return was a loss of 33.6%, suffering from its high premium notably declining. The decline, the report notes, was driven predominantly by the decline in the share price of two of the trust’s listed holdings, Freeline Therapeutics Holdings ADR FRLN and Achilles Therapeutics ADR ACHL. Freeline’s poor performance is put down to “operational challenges” owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Syncona says these concerns have now been addressed. Achilles’ share price decline was driven by “market sentiment towards cell and gene therapies”. Syncona says that it believes the business is performing well and in line with expectations. The trust’s strategy is to establish, build and fund companies to turn exceptional science into a dynamic portfolio of global leaders in life sciences. The aim is for the companies to deliver their product to market. The trust has a long-term target of owning between 15 and 20 companies. It currently has 10. Martin Murphy, chief executive of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “While we are disappointed by the decline in NAV during the period, we are continuing to build a diverse portfolio across the development cycle and therapeutic areas and remain confident in our companies' potential. The substantial capital that a number of our companies have accessed so far this year validate the significant opportunity ahead for them.” The trust also said that it planned to deploy another £100 million to £175 million into both existing companies and new opportunities this year. Murphy said: “With clinical data the key driver of value and risk for Syncona, we believe our companies are well positioned and on track to further validate our model and strategy in the next 12 months with the potential for a rich seam of data.” The trust is a member of Interactive Investor’s ACE 40 rated list of ethical investments. It was placed under formal review in the summer due to the volatility of its share price, but it kept its place on the list. Dzmitry Lipski, head of funds research at Interactive Investor, notes: “We remain positive on the trust outlook and see it as a strong choice for adventurous investors prepared to tolerate high volatility in the short term, but potentially reap rewards over the longer term.
luxaeterna1: It is odd. I suspect they meant it was simply due to covid-related uncertainty, which meant an unacceptable pricing offer. Although Gyroscope (long term eye health) may operate on a longer timeframe than your average IPO and that might discourage investors. Interesting to see if they wait 6-9 months, or look at Syncona/3rd party private partnership. Ha, oh wait, I just re-read the RNS, it does look quite silly having a 4-day delay between the RNS announcing and then postponing it doesn't it? I'm sure they cringed at that. On the other hand, a good drop in sentiment like this, could actually be a solid entry position if you believe in the long-term prospects of SYNC, & in particular Autolus.
brexitplus: Autolus presents additional data on AUTO1 05 December 2020 Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science, notes that its portfolio company, Autolus Therapeutics Plc (NASDAQ: AUTL) (Autolus), announced new data highlighting progress on its AUTO1 program, the company's CAR T cell therapy being investigated in the ongoing ALLCAR Phase 1 study in relapsed / refractory adult B-Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), during the American Society of Hematology (ASH) All-Virtual Annual Meeting, held between December 5-8, 2020. A copy of the announcement is set out below. Autolus noted that data from the ALLCAR study suggests AUTO1's potential for transformational activity in adult patients with relapsed / refractory ALL. The company also noted that the Phase 1b/2 pivotal study for the AUTO1 programme is under way and enrolment projections have had to be adjusted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company now expects to enroll patients throughout 2021 with a full data set in 2022. Autolus management will host a conference call and webcast at 4:00 pm ET/9:00 pm GMT on Monday, 7th December, to discuss the ASH data. To listen to the webcast and view the accompanying slide presentation, please go to: hxxps://
brexitplus: I missed this in September “Syncona makes two new investments – Resolution Therapeutics and Neogene Therapeutics Resolution Therapeutics Following a collaboration agreement with the University of Edinburgh in 2018, Resolution has been founded by Syncona as a cell therapy company investigating the use of macrophages for the treatment of patients with end stage liver disease. In pre-clinical studies, macrophages have been well-documented as key agents of wound and injury repair in the liver, amongst other organs, and there is a growing body of evidence suggesting their use as therapeutic agents to treat cirrhosis of the liver caused by chronic liver diseases. Liver disease is a major burden on society, with 1-2 million people diagnosed with compensated liver cirrhosis in the US and EU5 per year. Current treatments, including lifestyle changes in the first instance, do not actively repair the liver, relying on early diagnosis before the onset of cirrhosis to be effective. There is therefore a strong unmet need for a regenerative therapy for patients with end stage liver disease. Syncona has founded Resolution with a £26.8m commitment to a Series A financing, investing an initial first tranche of £0.4m to fund the formation of the team and intellectual property (IP) required to commence operations. The investment follows an earlier seed investment in 2018 of £1.4m which funded discovery work in the laboratory of Professor Stuart Forbes, a leading figure in the field of macrophages and liver regeneration and Professor of Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Syncona’s holding value in Resolution is £1.8m and, at the point full current commitments are invested, the company will have a 79% stake in Resolution. Martin Murphy, chief executive of Syncona Investment Management Limited, and Ed Hodgkin, partner, have joined the Resolution board as non-executive directors. Neogene Therapeutics Syncona has co-led the $110.0m Series A financing round of Neogene, with a commitment of $19.0m (£14.8m) alongside specialist investors including EcoR1, Jeito Capital, Vida Ventures, Bellco Capital, Two River, and TPG, of which the first tranche of $15.2m (£11.9m) has been invested. The investment is valued at cost. Neogene was founded in 2019 around the work of world-class founders, Dr Ton Schumacher and Dr Carsten Linnemann, and is developing an engineered cell therapy product for solid tumours based on a patient’s own neoantigens. The Series A financing is intended to fund non-clinical validation of the company’s proprietary tumour-specific T-cell receptor gene isolation platform and a future Phase I study. Elisa Petris, partner of Syncona Investment Management Limited, has taken up the role of non-executive director on the Neogene board.”
brexitplus: From The Times - mention of IPO Syncona The second wave of biotech businesses being developed by Syncona, the closed-ended investment healthcare company, continues to develop nicely (Alex Ralph writes). Freeline, which is developing gene therapies for chronic diseases, raised $80 million from institutional investors yesterday, expanding an earlier series C financing, and is considering an initial public offering in the US this year. Syncona invested $40 million in December and remains the largest shareholder, with a 60 per cent stake. The series C was backed by investors including Novo Holding, the Danish life sciences investors, and Wellington, the US investor, and increases the value of Syncona’s holding to £181.5 million. Syncona is a FTSE 250 company created in 2012 through £100 million of seed funding from the Wellcome Trust, one of the biggest charitable foundations. Its aim is to generate long-term patient capital to turn the UK’s life science research base into promising healthcare companies. It has nine companies. Last year it sold Blue Earth Diagnostics, which uses molecular imaging to pinpoint prostate cancer, to Bracco Imaging for £390.2 million and Nightstar Therapeutics, a gene therapy company, to Biogen for £663 million. This helped increase Syncona’s capital pool to £767 million at the end of its full-year in March, from £399.7 million a year earlier, to reinvest in its next wave. Analysts at Numis said this month that Freeline and Achilles Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing personalised cancer immunotherapies which raised $100 million in a series B financing last year, were “shaping up to be two of the most exciting private life science companies in the UK”. Syncona’s other listed company is Autolus, which harnesses a patient’s immune system to fight cancer and is listed on the Nasdaq index. The decline in Autolus’s share price dragged down Syncona’s net asset value to £1.25 billion at the end of March, or 185½p per share, down 13.3 per cent from £1.46 billion a year earlier. However, shares in Autolus have rebounded, as has Syncona, which is up 12.5 per cent this year. Advice Buy
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