Gyroscope Therapeutics Ltd., based in Stevenage, UK, has announced the successful completion of a £50.4 million investment to advance clinical development of an investigational gene therapy treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration (dry-AMD). The company is built on studies and scientific publications which link chronic local inflammation, activation of the complement system and AMD pathogenesis research. In addition, gene therapy is aimed to develop a sustained drug delivery modality within ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic indications which partner with surgical device technologies, also based with Syncona Ltd., a healthcare life sciences investment company.
Syncona has invested £48 million in the current funding round which, according to the largest shareholder, brings to about £82M investment since the beginning of Gyroscope’s founding. In addition, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) reports that it has made an investment of £2.4 million in the same funding round. Gyroscope is focused on developing a gene therapy treatment (GT005) for the Phase I/II FOCUS trial to treat dry age-related macular degeneration. According to the company, new capital is to be used to advance clinical development of the company’s investigational gene therapy for a recombinant non-replicating adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector encoding a human complement factor. The financing is aimed to support a manufacturing platform and to use the company’s subretinal delivery system which may additionally license the technology to multiple commercial partners. The complement factor clinical trial is formally entitled as “FocuS: An Open Label First in Human Phase 1/2 Multicentre Study to Evaluate the Safety, Dose Response and Efficacy of GT005 Administered as a Single Subretinal Injection in Subjects With Macular Atrophy Due to AMD”. The study is a non-randomized interventional trial aiming to recruit patients in 7 sites – Bristol Eye Hospital, Moorefields Eye Hospital, Manchester Eye Hospital, Nottingham University Hospital, Oxford University Hospital and two Southampton hospitals. The study is estimated to complete the primary outcome measures in February 2021.
Mr. Chris Hollowood, chief investment officer and chairman of Gyroscope stated that the company “have brought this novel medicine to the clinic in less than two and half years from formation. In conjunction they have built a surgical platform alongside that has the potential to improve the therapeutic’s safety, efficacy and consistency as well as increase the number of patients that can potentially benefit. We are pleased to provide the team the support to build on this momentum and potentially bring the first medicine for dry-AMD to patients around the world.”