- Healthcare investor Syncona has reported that portfolio company Freeline Therapeutics booked higher research and development expenses in 2020 and confirmed its plans to have three AAV gene therapy programs in the clinic by year-end 2021.

R&D expenses for the year ended 31 December 2020 were $76.1 million, up from $47 million for the same period in 2019, with the increase of $29.1 million attributed to an increased investment in activities related to the current and proposed clinical trials for FLT180a and FLT190, as well as overall R&S, which includes earlier pipeline programs, discovery and further development of the Freeline platform.

Legal and professional fees related to financing activities and an increase in headcount saw general and administrative expenses for the year increase $9.7 million to $26.3 million.

Syncona said that Freeline's 'strong' 2020 year-end cash position of $230 million would fund key upcoming clinical milestones.

Freeline chief executive Theresa Heggie said: 'We are looking forward to initiation of the Phase 1/2 dose-confirmation study for our lead program, FLT180a for the treatment of Hemophilia B, later this year to confirm both the dose and the immune management regimen for our planned pivotal Phase 3 study.

'Importantly, the data from the Phase 1/2 dose-finding trial we completed last year demonstrated the potential of FLT180a to provide a functional cure through the durable normalization of Factor IX activity.'

Heggie added: 'We also plan to progress dose escalation for the Phase 1/2 clinical study of FLT190 for the treatment of Fabry disease during 2021.'

At 8:51am: [LON:SYNC] Syncona Limited share price was 0p at 278p

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