StockMarketWire.com - Syncona revealed strong returns and an increase in net asset value (NAV) with a positive performance across the company in the year to 31 March.

Net assets were £1,055.8m, 158.9p per share, representing a total return of 18.7%.

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

- 57.2% return from life science portfolio driven by financing events in Nightstar and Autolus and positive progress in Blue Earth

- Fund investments valued at £465.1m, generating a return of 7.5% and providing a deep pool of capital which supported the deployment of £125.2m into new and follow on life science investments

- Dividend of 2.3p declared (2017: 2.3p); charitable donation of £4.75m

- Significant operational and financial performance in our portfolio companies

- Blue Earth Diagnostics (Blue Earth), our PET imaging agent company, continued to deliver strong performance with US unit sales of Axumin of 3,700 in Q3 FY2018 and 5,000 in Q4 FY2018 and became profitable during the period

- Autolus, our T cell immunotherapy company, completed a $80m Series C financing at a material uplift and is currently pursuing a proposed IPO on NASDAQ

- Nightstar, our gene therapy company targeting inherited forms of blindness, completed a $45m Series C financing and a successful IPO on NASDAQ raising $86m

Three portfolio companies, Nightstar, Autolus and Freeline commenced important clinical trials. Including Nightstar's pivotal study in Choroideremia commenced post year end, we now have eight Phase 1/2 trials and one pivotal Phase 3 across our clinical pipeline.

Strong progress across the portfolio developing and scaling manufacturing and delivery processes and platforms, and advancing product pipelines.

Syncona Investment Management CEO Martin Murphy said:

"This year we have seen our differentiated strategy continuing to deliver positive performance across the business, with strong NAV progression.

"Our ability to create, invest in, and build global leaders in life science is underpinned by our evergreen funding base which enables us to take a flexible approach with control over how we manage our portfolio.

"Syncona's partnership approach has driven strong financial and operational progress in the year, delivering significant value progression across the portfolio.

"Nightstar, Autolus and Freeline all commenced clinical trials - with Nightstar completing an IPO on NASDAQ just four years after Syncona founded the company.

"Our established business, Blue Earth, continued to deliver strong sales and became the first Syncona founded company to reach profitability during the period.

"This year Syncona also greatly strengthened its leadership position in gene therapy, including the establishment of two new companies, and we now have one of the broadest, high-quality, co-ordinated gene therapy platforms globally.

"We look forward to helping these businesses fulfil their potential in delivering truly transformational treatment to patients, and value to our shareholders."


At 8:13am: [LON:SYNC] Syncona Ltd share price was +2.5p at 227.5p



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