UK Biotech, Venture

Mega-money biotech round spills $116M into gene therapy upstart Freeline

The mega-money pouring into biotechs isn’t restricted to the US. University College London spinout Freeline just scored a $116 million Series B, with heavyweight healthcare investor Syncona providing the bulk of the cash.

Founded by UCL professor Amit Nathwani three years ago, Freeline is making a reputation for itself in the booming gene therapy field. With teams in the UK and Germany, Freeline is building AAV vector tech to deliver gene therapies to the liver, another example of the once-and-done curative approach that has attracted a bright spotlight of public attention.

UCL Technology Fund committed £3.4 million in the B round, with Syncona handling the rest of the load solo.

Nathwani attracted his own spotlight after publishing studies in 2011 and 2014 focusing on his clinical work developing a gene therapy for hemophilia. Anne Prener, an experienced biotech vet, was named CEO a year ago.

In a statement, Prener noted that their gene therapy work relied heavily on the new manufacturing technologies they have been perfecting.

Image: Amit Nathwani and Anne Prener. FREELINE

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