LONDON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited, a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on the treatment of eye disease, today announced that it has raised US $ 148.0 million (£ 107.8 million) in as part of a Series C financing. The financing was led by Forbion’s Growth Opportunities Fund and includes Sofinnova Investments, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Tetragon Financial Group Limited, a fund focused on undisclosed healthcare, Fosun Pharma, Cambridge Innovation Capital and founding investor Syncona. The company also announced the appointments of Wouter Joustra, General Partner, Forbion and Maha Katabi, General Partner, Sofinnova to the Board of Directors of Gyroscope.
Gyroscope plans to use the proceeds of the funding to advance the clinical development of GT005, the Company’s primary investigational gene therapy under evaluation for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to macular degeneration associated with it. ‘age (AMD). GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration and is being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials in two different populations of genetically defined patients with GA. These funds will also allow Gyroscope to advance its startup pipeline and innovative delivery technology, including its proprietary Orbit system.MT subretinal delivery system, designed for precise delivery to the back of the eye.
“We are delighted to welcome a new group of leading life science investors on our journey to deliver gene therapy beyond rare diseases. Their investment in Gyroscope will allow us to continue to develop our portfolio of experimental gene therapies, ”said Khurem Farooq, CEO of Gyroscope. “We recently announced encouraging data from Phase I / II clinical trials with our leading investigational gene therapy, GT005, which gives us confidence in its potential as a treatment for geographic atrophy and we continue to advance our clinical program. Phase II.
“Just five years ago, we created Gyroscope to develop gene therapies for some of the leading causes of blindness. Our continued investment is a reflection of the great strides this world-class team has made in delivering on this promise, ”said Chris Hollowood, Chief Investment Officer of Syncona and President of Gyroscope. “We look forward to partnering with Gyroscope’s new investors who share our enthusiasm for the potential of people and science to have a meaningful impact on the lives of patients, and to welcome Wouter and Maha to the Board of Directors. With the expansion of the board of directors, the time has come for Dominic (Schmidt) to step down as director. We thank Dominic for his key role in the launch and growth of Gyroscope and his support to the Company. ”
“Forbion is renowned for its pioneering investments in vector therapies, with early stage investments in companies based on AAVs and lentivirals. Gyroscope’s experimental gene therapy pipeline is exactly the type of potentially transformative technology we are looking to invest in, ”said Mr. Joustra, General Partner at Forbion. “With science grounded in genetics, we believe Gyroscope is well positioned to develop new treatments for the millions of people with serious eye disease who currently have limited or no treatment options.
GT005 is designed as a unique, experimental AAV2-based gene therapy for GA secondary to AMD that is administered under the retina. GT005 aims to restore the balance of an overactive complement system, part of the immune system, by increasing the production of the protein Complement Factor I (CFI). Complement overactivation has been strongly correlated with the development and progression of AMD. The CFI protein regulates the activity of the complement system. It is believed that increasing the production of CFI could ease overactivity of the system and reduce inflammation, in an effort to preserve a person’s eyesight.
GT005 is being evaluated in several clinical trials, including:
TO CONCENTRATE [NCT03846193]: Open-label phase I / II clinical trial evaluating the safety and dose-response of three doses of GT005 in people with GA secondary to AMD.
TO EXPLORE [NCT04437368] and HORIZON [NCT04566445]: Phase II, multicenter, randomized, controlled trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of GT005. EXPLORE is recruiting people with GA secondary to AMD who have rare variants of their CFI gene. HORIZON is recruiting a larger group of people with GA secondary to AMD.
About age-related dry macular degeneration (AMD) and geographic atrophy (GA)
Dry AMD is one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss in people over 50 and is a devastating diagnosis.1 There is currently no approved treatment for dry AMD, its most common form, which affects about 85-90% of people with AMD.2 As dry AMD progresses, it leads to GA, an irreversible degeneration of retinal cells, causing gradual and permanent loss of central vision. This disease can seriously affect a person’s daily life as they lose the ability to drive, read and even see the faces of those close to them.
About the gyroscope: Vision for life
Gyroscope Therapeutics is a clinical-stage gene therapy company that develops gene therapy beyond rare diseases to treat eye diseases that cause vision loss and blindness. Our main investigational gene therapy, GT005, is currently being evaluated in phase II clinical trials for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the main causes of blindness. GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of people with GA.
Backed by leading investors in the life sciences, Gyroscope has built a global organization combining discovery, research, drug development, a manufacturing platform and surgical administration capabilities. Based in London and with offices in Philadelphia and San Francisco, our mission is to preserve sight and combat the devastating impact of blindness.
1 National Eye Institute. Macular degeneration. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/age-related-macular-degeneration. Page last revised on August 17, 2020. Accessed March 24, 2021.
2 American Macular Degeneration Foundation. What is macular degeneration? https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration. Page last revised on December 20, 2017. Accessed March 24, 2021.