Syncona to buy Freeline Therapeutics

Freeline is a clinical-stage biotechnology company.

  • Syncona owns 49.7 percent of Freeline
  • The transaction will value the entire issued share capital of Freeline at around $28.3m
  • Syncona is a life science investor based in London

Syncona’s newly established portfolio company has agreed to buy all the shares in Freeline Therapeutics Holdings, in an all-cash transaction.

Freeline is a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in Hertfordshire, UK.

Syncona currently owns 49.7 percent of Freeline’s shares.

The portfolio company will acquire Freeline for $6.50 in cash for each Freeline American Depositary Share. This price values the entire issued share capital of Freeline at around $28.3 million and represents a 50 percent premium to Freeline’s closing price prior to the announcement on October 18 of Syncona’s initial proposal to take Freeline private.

The acquisition, subject to approval or acceptance by the required number of Freeline’s minority shareholders, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

“Our capital allocation is resolutely focused on opportunities with strong prospects of driving an asset to late-stage development, where we believe significant value can be accessed,” said Chris Hollowood, CEO of Syncona Investment Management. “The challenging market conditions impacting the biotech sector have presented a differentiated opportunity to deploy capital in line with that approach.”

“The flexibility of the Syncona platform, enabled by our capital pool, allows us to optimise how we do this and, in this instance, taking the company private allows us the best route to potential risk-adjusted returns,” Hollowood said.

Syncona will also provide Freeline with up to $15 million of financing, according to a release. This will enable Freeline to advance its lead FLT201 therapy in Gaucher disease, as well as continuing to advance its GBA1-linked Parkinson’s disease research programme, the release added.

Syncona is a life science investor based in London.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo is acting as US legal counsel and Simmons & Simmons is acting as UK legal counsel to Syncona.