With an investment of up to $250 million (£185 million) in a biotech company spun out from University College London, BLACKSTONE has made a significant wager on UK life sciences.
To hasten the creation of its cutting-edge leukemia medicines, the US behemoth will immediately invest $150 million in Autolus, followed by milestone payments totaling $100 million.
The company’s US-listed shares increased 35% to $7.51 in premarket trading, marking the largest-ever single-source private funding of a UK biotech.
In order to better target and combat tumors, the body’s natural T-cell defenses can be modified. Autolus, which was founded with funding from Neil Woodford and spun out from UCL in 2014, is working on this.
A mid-single-digit royalty based on future sales will be given to Blackstone in addition to the appointment of a representative to the company’s board.
Blackstone Life Sciences’ worldwide leader, Dr. Nicholas Galakatos, stated: “Our investment in these next-generation cell treatments exemplifies our faith in the quality and potential of the UK’s life sciences industry.
The UK’s image as a global leader in finding innovative treatments for diseases that are now incurable was furthered by this endorsement of the quality of life science, according to science minister George Freeman.
According to a business spokeswoman, “big investments like this provide high skill jobs and possibilities in the development and manufacture of medicines to help expand and enhance our life science clusters all around the UK.” those who are afflicted with diseases like leukemia might also find true hope in them. The obe-cel program may develop into a “transformational therapy option,” according to Syncona, a healthcare trust listed on the FTSE 250 and holding a 25% share in Autolus.
To assist safeguard obe-ability cel’s to launch globally on a commercial basis, Autolus today broke construction on a 70,000 square foot dedicated manufacturing plant in Stevenage.
The statement made today is the most recent indication of confidence in the life sciences industry, which is riding a surge of new investment in the wake of a string of historic victories in the Covid-19 vaccination competition.
In order to support ongoing Phase II trials of its gene therapy treatment for Geographic Atrophy, one of the main causes of blindness affecting 5 million people worldwide, another company in the Syncona portfolio, Gyroscope, received a $60 million investment commitment from a French company Sanofi. One of the main reasons why people go blind is geographic atrophy.
And according to reports released today by Baillie Gifford’s flagship Scottish Mortgage trust, 21% of its portfolio now consists of healthcare, reducing the trust’s exposure to Silicon Valley titans like Tesla, Facebook, and others.
Holdings include the personalized medicine company Tempus, founded by billionaire Eric Lefkofsky, the mRNA vaccine producer Moderna, and the AI-driven drug discovery platform Recursion Pharma.