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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Beacon Therapeutics brings in US$170M to advance eye disease treatments

The Business Magazine article image for: Beacon Therapeutics brings in US$170M to advance eye disease treatments

Ophthalmic gene therapy company Beacon Therapeutics has raised US$170 million in a Series B financing to advance its work to develop treatments for eye diseases.

Syncona, the major life science investing firm, committed US$42.5 million in the financing round, which was led by Forbion, and was also supported by existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises and the university of Oxford along with new investors TCGX and Advent Life Sciences.

READ MORE: Scientist behind Adaptimmune and Immunocore secures funding for new Oxfordshire biotech

Syncona launched Beacon in 2023, cornerstoning a Series A financing, and this latest financing brings the total amount that Beacon has raised so far to around US$290 million.

"We are focused on progressing our promising pipeline of ocular gene therapies to save and restore the vision of patients with a range of prevalent and rare retinal diseases that result in blindness," said David Fellows, CEO of Beacon Therapeutics.

"These funds will support the ongoing development of our late-stage and preclinical pipeline and enable acceleration of the development of AGTC-501, as we progress through the clinic and toward commercialisation.

"We are delighted to extend our strong group of investors and look forward to working with them to ambitiously pursue our strategy."

Beacon is focused on both rare and prevalent diseases, including X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), a blinding orphan disease for which there is no available treatment and dry age-related macular degeneration (dAMD), a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people over 60.

The latest funds will be used for the continued clinical development of lead candidate AGTC-501 for XLRP and to generate Phase I/II clinical trial data for Beacon's dAMD programme.

Elisa Petris, lead partner at Syncona Investment Management Limited and board director at Beacon, said: "We have leveraged our expertise and network to support Beacon thus far, from identifying the opportunity to acquire a late-stage asset in AGTC, to supporting this financing today.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with the company and our syndicate partners to advance its solutions for debilitating blinding retinal diseases through the clinic and towards patients."

Following the Series B financing, Syncona's holding in Beacon has been written up by £14.1 million, a 17.6% increase to the valuation of the company made on March 31 this year.

Including £9.6 million of new capital invested since that date, Syncona's holding value of Beacon will be US$131.9 million (£104 million) and on drawdown of the full Series B financing, Syncona's ownership in the business will be 41.4%.


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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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