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Syncona leads $87 MSeries A Financing of Clade Therapeutics, New Cell Therapy Company

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Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science, today announces that it has committed $30.0 million (£21.7 million[1]) to Clade Therapeutics (Clade), in a $87 million (£63 million) Series A financing. Syncona’s holding value in Clade is £11.2 million[2] following the investment of the first tranche of the Series A commitment and, at the point all current commitments are invested, Syncona will have 22.6 per cent stake in the business.

Syncona led the financing round alongside specialist investors including LifeSci Ventures, Emerson Collective, and global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers-Squibb.

Clade has been established with the aim of discovering and delivering scalable next generation induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived medicines. It is led by Dr. Chad Cowan, Chief Executive Officer at Clade, scientific co-founder of CRISPR Therapeutics and former Associate Professor at Harvard University in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and Dr. Jim Glasheen, Chief Business Officer at Clade, co-founder of Atlanta Therapeutics and former general partner at Technology Partners Venture Capital. The company’s proprietary platform technology enables the immune ‘cloaking’ of human pluripotent stem cells, meaning that cells are protected from the body’s immune system, potentially enabling long-term persistence and allowing for the development of allogeneic cell transplantation therapies.

The Syncona team will work closely with Clade as it builds out its operations. Chief Executive Officer, Martin Murphy, will join the Board, and Syncona Partner, Freddie Dear will act as a Board observer. Clade is Syncona’s 12th company in its current portfolio and sixth in the cell therapy space.

Martin Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “Clade is an exciting addition to our portfolio. The Syncona team has deep domain expertise in the cell therapy space, and we have been proactively looking for a high-quality and differentiated opportunity in the next generation stem cell-based medicine field. Clade has a world-class platform with potentially unprecedented scalability and standardisation allied to innovation in hypo-immunogenic shielding consistent with enhanced product persistence in patients. Clade has an ambitious team with a demonstrable track record, and we are looking forward to working together with Chad, Jim and colleagues as they grow the company and develop their technology.

Clade is the twelfth company in our portfolio and the sixth in the cell therapy space. Our investment today further enhances our world leading position in the space and continues to diversify our exposure in the field across a range of modalities.”

Freddie Dear, Partner at Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “Our commitment to Clade reflects our passion for their technology, our strong belief in the promise of cell therapy and our significant expertise in this field.  We believe the therapies Clade is seeking to develop have the potential to have a transformational impact on patients and we are looking forward to working in close partnership with the Clade team to deliver on this potential.”

Chad Cowan, Chief Executive Officer of Clade Therapeutics, said: “We have reached an era in medicine where insights across genetic engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology have enabled a revolution of cell medicines. Clade was founded to overcome the clinical limitations of current cell therapies by addressing durability, patient compatibility, reproducibility and scalability to deliver on the transformative potential of this increasingly important therapeutic modality.”

[1] FX rate for initial investment as of 11 August 2021/date of initial investment

[2] FX rate for holding value taken as of 30 September 2021


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