Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited, a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on treating diseases of the eye, announced today it has raised USD $148.0 million (GBP £107.8 million) in 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, an undisclosed healthcare focused fund, 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 Gyroscope Board of Directors.
Gyroscope plans to use proceeds from the financing to advance the clinical development of GT005, the company’s lead investigational gene therapy being evaluated for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials in two different genetically defined patient populations with GA. These funds will also enable Gyroscope to further advance its early stage pipeline and innovative delivery technology, including its proprietary OrbitTMsubretinal delivery system, which is designed for precise delivery to the back of the eye.
“We are excited to welcome a new group of leading life sciences investors on our journey to deliver gene therapy beyond rare disease. Their investment in Gyroscope will allow us to continue building our portfolio of investigational gene therapies,” said Khurem Farooq, Chief Executive Officer, Gyroscope. “We recently announced encouraging Phase I/II clinical trial data with our lead investigational gene therapy, GT005, that give us confidence in its potential as a treatment for geographic atrophy and are continuing to advance our Phase II clinical programme.”
“Just five short 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 progress this world-class team has made towards delivering on that promise,” said Chris Hollowood, Chief Investment Officer of Syncona and Chairman of Gyroscope. “We look forward to partnering with Gyroscope’s new investors who share our excitement about the potential of the people and science to make meaningful impact in patients’ lives, and to welcoming Wouter and Maha to the Board. With the expansion of the Board it is the right time for Dominic (Schmidt) to step down from his position as Director. We thank Dominic for his key role in the launch and growth of Gyroscope and his support of the Company.”
“Forbion has a reputation for pioneering investment in vector-based therapies, with seed investments in AAV- and lentiviral-based companies. Gyroscope’s pipeline of investigational gene therapies is exactly the type of potentially transformative technology we look to invest in,” said Mr. Joustra, General Partner at Forbion. “With science grounded in genetics, we believe Gyroscope is well positioned to develop novel treatments for the millions of people with serious eye diseases who currently have limited or no treatment options.”
GT005 is designed as an AAV2-based one-time investigational gene therapy for GA secondary to AMD that is delivered under the retina. GT005 aims to restore balance to an overactive complement system, a part of the immune system, by increasing production of the Complement Factor I (CFI) protein. 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 CFI production could dampen the system’s overactivity and reduce inflammation, with the goal of preserving a person’s eyesight.
GT005 is being evaluated in several clinical trials, including:
Dry AMD is a leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over the age of 50 and is a devastating diagnosis.[i] There are currently no approved treatments for dry AMD, its most common form, which impacts approximately 85-90% of people with AMD.[ii] As dry AMD advances, it leads to GA, an irreversible degeneration of retinal cells, causing a gradual and permanent loss of central vision. This disease can severely impact a person’s daily life as they lose the ability to drive, read and even see the faces of loved ones.
Gyroscope Therapeutics is a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing gene therapy beyond rare disease to treat diseases of the eye that cause vision loss and blindness. Our lead 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), a leading cause of blindness. GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of people with GA.
Supported by leading life sciences investors, Gyroscope has built a global organisation combining discovery, research, drug development, a manufacturing platform and surgical delivery capabilities. Headquartered in London with locations in Philadelphia and San Francisco, our mission is to preserve sight and fight the devastating impact of blindness.
VP, Corporate Affairs
[i] National Eye Institute. Age-Related Macular Degeneration. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/age-related-macular-degeneration. Page last reviewed August 17, 2020. Accessed March 24, 2021.