Eye disease technology from Gyroscope in Stevenage is set to become increasingly influential globally following a $148 million Series C raise.

Healthcare company Syncona has injected $42.3m of that sum and now holds a 54 per cent stake in the fast-growing business.

The round was led by Forbion’s Growth Opportunities Fund anchored in Singapore, Germany and Holland. Other global institutional backers included Sofinnova Investments in California, Tetragon Financial Group Limited (Guernsey), an undisclosed healthcare focused fund, Fosun Pharma (China) and Cambridge Innovation Capital.

The financing will enable Gyroscope to advance 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 US Food and Drug Administration and is being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials in two different genetically defined patient populations with GA.

The funds will also enable Gyroscope to further advance its early stage pipeline and innovative delivery technology, including its proprietary OrbitTM subretinal delivery system, which is designed for precise delivery to the back of the eye.

Gyroscope recently announced positive interim data from the Phase I/II FOCUS trial, showing that GT005 was well tolerated in patients and resulted in sustained increases in Complement Factor I as well as down-regulation of an overactive complement system – a part of the inflammatory system which has been strongly linked as a cause of dry AMD.

The business has also built out its management team, appointing Jessica Stitt as chief financial officer, who brings two decades of healthcare finance and leadership experience. The business continues to develop its manufacturing capabilities and delivery technology.

Khurem Farooq, chief executive officer of Gyroscope, said:

“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, including our lead investigational gene therapy, GT005.”

“We recently announced encouraging Phase I/II clinical trial data with GT005 that give us confidence in its potential as a treatment for geographic atrophy and are now focused on advancing our Phase II clinical programme.”