RNS Number : 8176V

Syncona Limited

16 December 2021

Syncona Limited

Syncona cornerstones CHF 110 million Series B financing in Anaveon

16 December 2021

-- Syncona cornerstones Anaveon's Series B financing of CHF 110 million (GBP90 million [1] ), committing CHF 35 million (GBP29 million), alongside a leading international investor syndicate

-- Syncona's holding in Anaveon written up by GBP20 million; 88 per cent uplift (3p per share) [2]

-- Syncona holding now valued at GBP59 million following first tranche investment of CHF 21 million (GBP17 million); on drawdown of the full Series B financing, Syncona's ownership stake in the business will be 38 per cent [3]

Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding global leaders in life science, today announces that it has committed CHF 35 million (GBP29 million) to Anaveon AG ("Anaveon"), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, in a CHF 110 million (GBP 90 million) Series B financing. Syncona was a cornerstone investor in the financing round, which was led by Forbion and supported by a leading international syndicate of specialist investors, including existing investor Novartis Venture Fund and new investors Cowen Healthcare Investments (a division of Cowen Investment Management), Pfizer Ventures and Pontifax.

Following the Series B financing, Syncona has revalued its existing investment which has resulted in an 88% uplift [4] . Including the drawdown of the first tranche of Syncona's Series B investment of CHF 21 million (GBP17 million) , Syncona's holding value of Anaveon is now GBP59 million. On drawdown of the full Series B financing, Syncona's ownership stake in Anaveon will be 38 per cent.

Anaveon is focused on enhancing the immune response to cancer. Anaveon's lead asset, ANV419, is a selective IL-2 receptor agonist, a type of protein drug which can potentially generate therapeutic cancer responses by expanding certain immune cells (T-cell and Natural Killer cells) with known anti-cancer activity. ANV419 has been designed to seek to overcome known challenges with selectivity, toxicity and durability of human IL-2, an approved drug for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and renal cancer. This type of product, if approved, could be used both as a monotherapy and in combination with other treatments (e.g. checkpoint antibodies) in the treatment of solid and liquid tumours.

Anaveon has recently released encouraging pre-clinical data which suggests that ANV419 could have a class-leading efficacy/safety profile, with clinical data from the company's Phase I/II open label study of ANV419 expected in Q1 CY2022.

Following the Series B financing, Anaveon has now raised total funds of CHF 145 million (GBP117 million) [5] since its Series A financing in 2019. These proceeds will be used to explore ANV419's full therapeutic potential via the initiation of multiple Phase II clinical programmes. The funding will also be used to broaden the company's pipeline with new programmes such as Anaveon's targeted follow-on compound, now in pre-clinical development.

Martin Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: "We continue to be excited about Anaveon's potential to develop a best-in-class agent in the selective IL-2 space and are very encouraged by the progress it has made since our initial investment in 2019. Recent pre-clinical data indicates a potentially class-leading efficacy and safety profile for its lead product and we look forward to supporting Anaveon as it progresses this programme and its broadening pipeline.

For Syncona, this financing is further validation of our ability to work with high quality syndicates to fund our companies to deliver on their promise and ambitions. The strength of this syndicate reflects our confidence and excitement in the company's potential to deliver a product that could make a real difference to the lives of patients in areas of high unmet medical need."

Andreas Katopodis, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anaveon, said: "There is strong momentum behind Anaveon and we are thrilled to welcome leading EU and US investors Forbion, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Pfizer Ventures and Pontifax to the company. I would also like to personally thank our existing founding investors for their continued guidance and support to bring the company this far. With this fundraising we have made a clear statement about the scale and nature of our ambitions to bring cancer therapies rapidly to patients with a high unmet medical need, as well as leverage the experience of our in-house cytokine engineering experts to broaden our pipeline for the benefit of patients suffering from diseases with immune dysregulation pathologies."


Copies of this press release and other corporate information can be found on the company website at: www.synconaltd.com

Forward-looking statements - this announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the portfolio of investments of Syncona Limited. These statements and forecasts involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In particular, many companies in the Syncona Limited portfolio are conducting scientific research and clinical trials where the outcome is inherently uncertain and there is significant risk of negative results or adverse events arising. In addition, many companies in the Syncona Limited portfolio have yet to commercialise a product and their ability to do so may be affected by operational, commercial and other risks.


Syncona Ltd

Annabel Clay / Fergus Witt

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3981 7940

FTI Consulting

Ben Atwell / Natalie Garland-Collins / Tim Stamper

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000

About Syncona

Syncona's purpose is to invest to extend and enhance human life. We do this by founding and building companies to deliver transformational treatments to patients in areas of high unmet need.

Our strategy is to found, build and fund companies around exceptional science to create a diversified portfolio of 15-20 globally leading healthcare businesses 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.

About Anaveon

Anaveon is a clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company, based in Switzerland, that develops biologics to modulate the function of cytokines and provide substantial therapeutic benefit to cancer patients. Our vision is to develop novel immune therapies benefiting patients suffering from a wide variety of diseases with immune pathology. For further information please visit the Company's website at: www.anaveon.com .

[1] FX rates at 15 December 2021

[2] To previous holding value as at 30 September 2021 and additional investment of GBP3.1 million invested at previous holding value

[3] Percentage holding reflects Syncona's ownership stake at the point full current commitments are invested on a fully-diluted basis

[4] See footnote 2

[5] FX rate for GBP Series A commitment taken at time of the Series A financing (26 February 2019)

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December 16, 2021 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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