Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), the venture capital investor focused on deeptech and life science businesses in the Cambridge ecosystem, is pleased to note that an agreement has been reached to sell Gyroscope Therapeutics Holdings plc (“Gyroscope”) to Novartis, a leading global medicines company, for up to $1.5 billion on a cash and debt free basis, with an upfront payment of $800 million and up to $700 million potentially due upon the achievement of certain customary milestones related to clinical development, regulatory approvals and reimbursement.

Gyroscope was founded in 2016 and today the company is a global leader in ocular gene therapies, combining discovery, research, drug development, a manufacturing platform and surgical delivery capabilities. It has nearly 200 employees and is executing on its Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), having generated positive clinical data in its Phase I/II FOCUS trial.

Novartis has a strong gene therapy expertise and commitment to ophthalmology. We look forward to seeing Gyroscope fulfil its potential during the next phase of its growth with Novartis, who have an extensive track record in this space and are ideally placed to complete the journey of taking this transformational therapy to patients.

Khurem Farooq, Chief Executive Officer, Gyroscope, said

“I’m incredibly proud of the progress the Gyroscope team has made in developing what we hope may be the first gene therapy for a leading cause of blindness. Joining forces with Novartis will greatly enhance our ability to deliver on our promise by providing additional expertise and resources to expand our development programme for GT005 and realise the potential of our exciting pipeline.”

Robert Tansley, Partner at CIC, commented:

“Gyroscope aims to address significant areas of unmet medical need based on correcting dysfunction in the complement cascade. The company was supported in part by the academic research and IP generated by the late Cambridge academic, Prof Sir Peter Lachmann, a leading researcher into the complement system. Gyroscope was created by Syncona alongside Cambridge Enterprise as a seed investor. We first backed Gyroscope in its Series A round in February 2019 as a follow-on investor to Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds as part of our unique collaboration agreement with the University, validating our differentiated strategy of gaining early access to the most innovative companies in the Cambridge ecosystem. We congratulate the Gyroscope team and are pleased that this acquisition will accelerate patients’ access to their technology.”

For more information, please see Novartis’ announcement here