Syncona Limited has acquired Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation

LONDON, United Kingdom: Syncona Limited, a leading healthcare company focused on creating, building and scaling a portfolio of global leaders in life science, announced that its newly established portfolio company has successfully completed its previously announced acquisition of Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (“AGTC”) (Nasdaq: AGTC), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialisation of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare and debilitating diseases with an initial focus on inherited retinal diseases (IRDs).

Pursuant to the terms of the definitive agreement, AGTC stockholders are entitled to receive $0.34 per share ($23.3 million in the aggregate) in cash at closing, plus up to an additional $0.73 per share based on shares outstanding immediately prior to the closing (up to $50.0 million in the aggregate) payable pursuant to contingent value rights (“CVRs”) upon the achievement of certain milestones related to transactions involving AGTC’s assets and regulatory and commercial milestones related to AGTC’s products. The acquisition completed on 30 November 2022.

AGTC will be Syncona’s third portfolio company focused on retinal gene therapy, an area where the team has significant expertise and an unparalleled network following the foundation and subsequent sales of Nightstar Therapeutics (“Nightstar”) and Gyroscope Therapeutics (“Gyroscope”). Syncona believes it can leverage such expertise and experience to drive AGTC’s lead candidate AGTC-501 (laruparetigene zosaparvovec), targeting X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), through late-stage clinical development and towards product approval. Syncona has invested $23.3 million (£19.5 million) upfront to acquire AGTC.

XLRP is a genetic eye disease, with no currently approved treatments, that causes progressive vision loss and ultimately blindness in men. A Phase II follow-on study in AGTC-501 was recently completed, which demonstrated significant visual sensitivity improvements and a favourable safety profile. AGTC-501 has been granted orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and orphan medicinal product designation by the European Commission. Syncona expects to support the company to explore strategic options for its broader gene therapy pipeline.

David Fellows has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AGTC and Dr. Nadia Waheed will assume the role of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of AGTC. David brings extensive leadership experience, particularly in ocular gene therapy, through his roles as CEO of Nightstar, Chair of Oxular, and as a Board member of Gyroscope. Similarly, Nadia brings a wealth of expertise from her time as CMO of Gyroscope, and from her experience in the ophthalmology field more broadly, to guide AGTC’s clinical development strategy. AGTC’s Dr. Abraham Scaria will remain as Chief Scientific Officer.

Chris Hollowood, Chief Investment Officer of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “We are delighted to have completed our acquisition of AGTC and would like to thank AGTC’s stockholders for choosing to give AGTC-501 the best path forward. We know this scientific area well and believe that this programme has huge potential to help XLRP patients, who currently have no treatment options available. With Syncona’s guidance, strategic capital base, and the exceptional management team that we have announced today, we look forward to driving AGTC-501 through the clinic to potentially transform the lives of patients suffering with this blinding condition.”

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