Freeline and SwanBio join forces to create Spur Therapeutics

Published: 18-Jun-2024

The company will endeavour to advance its two clinical assets in Gaucher disease Type 1 and adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) — two CNS disorders with no currently approved treatments

Freeline Therapeutics has acquired SwanBio Therapeutics, which has led to the creation of Spur Therapeutics, a novel biotechnology company focusing on the development of treatments for CNS disorders.

The combination has brought together two of Syncona’s clinical-stage portfolio companies, representing an opportunity to deliver two gene therapies to the market.


Spur and Syncona

Syncona is a global life-science investor focused on creating, building and scaling companies in the industry, and will own 99% of the combined company at a holding value of GBP £104.7m.

In line with Syncona’s strategic focus on allocating capital to clinical opportunities across the portfolio and assets that are approaching clinical entry, the creation of Spur creates a consolidated adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy pipeline with significant opportunity. 

The acquisition will provide a broadened clinical pipeline and will strengthen Spur’s central nervous system (CNS) capabilities to further enable its move into Parkinson’s disease.

The company's therapeutic candidates

Spur’s lead gene therapy candidate — FLT201 — will be utilised for the treatment of Gaucher disease Type 1, a lysosomal storage disorder for which there is currently no cure. 

FLT201 is in Phase I/II clinical trials, with the company recently publishing encouraging data to support its efficacy and safety. 

Its newly acquired gene therapy programme — SBT101 — is also in Phase I/II clinical trials for the treatment of adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a CNS disorder for which there is currently no approved treatment.

Spur's executive team

The new company will be led by Freeline CEO Michael Parini and will benefit from the leadership of the broader Freeline management team, who are now focused on driving forward two potentially first-in-class gene therapy assets towards late-stage development.

The company is also looking to move gene therapy into more prevalent diseases in the future. 

As part of the transaction, SwanBio Executive Chair and Syncona Executive Partner John Tsai will join the Board of Spur.

CEO of Syncona Investment Management Limited and Chair of Spur, Chris Hollowood, said: “The creation of Spur is a compelling opportunity to bring together two highly complementary companies progressing gene therapies which address debilitating diseases, whilst supporting a broader pipeline in more prevalent disorders.”

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