Syncona; quarterly update

Syncona Ltd (SYNC.L Market Cap. 1765m, FTSE 250 Index, 267p and 2.9% of JIC Portfolio and 0.0% of JIC Top 10)

Quarterly update for the quarter ended 31stDecember.

Conclusion: The fall in NAV was principally down to the 44% drop in Nightstar’s share price. This was despite the company making “excellent clinical progress”. Nightstar’s share price has since recovered by 23.0%, so I will put the fall down to general market malaise. Other than that, the story remains consistent, with Syncona near to adding two further life science companies to its stable and with plenty of cash to fund others over the next few years. I reduced slightly in December to help fund another purchase but am happy with a 2.9% holding. It remains a long term holding which I think will add considerable value over the next five to ten years. Happy Holder!

Main points:

Net assets ended at 194.5p per share, down 6.6% over the quarter.

The Life Science portfolio was down 6.3% but still up 58.2% over the nine months.

It has a capital pool available for investment in further Life Science companies of £412.4m consisting cash of £130.3m and legacy fund investments of £282.1m. Over the quarter it invested £12.5m gross and over the nine months, £120.7m.

Operational highlights:

Blue Earth saw good sales momentum with sales of Axumin for prostate cancer up 16.5% to 7,575 patients and it made progress towards its extension for use in glioma (brain cancer).

Nightstar announced plans to initiate a phase 2/3 expansion study and Autolus and Freeline reported “encouraging early data”.

It is in the final stages of funding two new life science companies.

Blue Earth is cash generative and returned £10.8m to Syncona during the period.

Full statement can be found HERE

Martin Murphy, CEO, Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: ”We are pleased with the strong progress across our companies over the period. Blue Earth is cash generative returning £10.8 million to Syncona during the period and continues to demonstrate strong sales momentum, whilst Nightstar, Autolus and Freeline are making excellent clinical progress.
We continue to have a high-level of conviction in our companies’ fundamentals having built them in partnership with their world-class founders and are focused on working closely with them to achieve our ambition of delivering transformational treatments for patients and generating value for our shareholders over the long-term. As we look forward, we continue to see a strong pipeline of exciting opportunities where we can continue to build globally competitive companies around exceptional science.”

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