Gyroscope Raises $60.9 Million to Develop Retinal Gene Therapies

September 3, 2019

British biotech Gyroscope Therapeutics said it has completed a $60.9 million series B financing to continue development of gene therapies and surgical delivery systems for retinal diseases.

The financing was led by Syncona, which invested $58 million. Cambridge Innovation capital contributed the remainder of the funds.

The financing will allow Gyroscope to continue to advance the clinical development of its experimental gene therapy GT005 for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of permanent vision impairment in people age 65 and older. It will also be used to advance the company’s sub-retinal delivery system, Orbit SDS, for its gene therapies, which allows surgeons to access to the retinal area of the eye without the need to remove the gel-like substance that fills the eye or make a hole in the retina. Gyroscope’s plans also include licensing Orbit SDS to other companies.

“This funding will allow us to collect and analyze safety data needed to then move into larger trials and eventually bring them to market,” said Khurem Farooq, CEO of Gyroscope.

Age-related macular degeneration affects the macula, a small area near the center of the retina that is responsible for central vision. The dry form of AMD is much more common than the wet form, accounting for 85 to 90 percent of cases. Although dry AMD is not a rare disease, occurring in about one  in 2,000 individuals in the developed world, changes in certain genes involved in the part of the body’s immune response known as the complement system contribute to the risk of developing AMD.

Gyroscope’s lead experimental therapy, GT005, is designed to restore balance to the complement system. The goal is to slow, or possibly stop the progression of dry AMD. The company is currently conducting and ongoing phase 1/2 clinical trial in which a patient receives a single dose of the therapy through an injection below their retina. 

“Gyroscope have brought this novel medicine to the clinic in less than two and a 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,” said Chris Hollowood, chief investment officer of Syncona and chairman of Gyroscope.

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