Syncona: Sale of Nightstar to Biogen

Please Note: Sent on Monday by email but not updated on website until 6th March

Syncona Ltd (SYNC.L Market Cap. 1897m, FTSE 250 Index, 287p and 3.0% of JIC Portfolio and 0.0% of JIC Top 10)

Conclusion: A successful outcome for Syncona seeing Nightstar from founding through to a trade sale. A trade sale enabled by Nightstar’s clinical success in developing a cure for rare inherited retinal diseases such as Choroideremia. The sale adds 20.2p to the NAV of Syncona. The price achieved is not as high as the lofty levels of $29.50 seen last September but significantly higher than October’s $10 per share! Some might be disappointed it did not achieve more but I think it has achieved a great return on investment, passed Nightstar on to a company that should be able to take it through the next stage of development and has freed up £254m for investment in new life science companies. Looking forward to hearing news on its other existing investments and new investments. A good long-term story. Happy Holder!

Syncona has announced that Nightstar Therapeutics has reached an agreement with Biogen to be acquired at $25.50 per share, or $877m in total. Syncona’s holding is valued at £254.6m, a £135.4m uplift (20.2p per share) to its previous valuation.

Syncona funded the creation of Nightstar and then through to its sale to Biogen. It is receiving 4.5x its original cost and has achieved a 72% Internal Rate of Return.

Martin Murphy, Chief Executive of Syncona Limited, said: “In the six years since Syncona founded Nightstar, the company has established itself as one of the global leaders in retinal gene therapies. It is a strong example of our differentiated approach of founding, building and funding global leaders in life science and we look forward to seeing Nightstar work to deliver transformational treatments to patients during the next phase of its development with Biogen.

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