London-based Gyroscope will receive a $40 million investment from Sanofi initially. That $40 million represents a premium to Gyroscope’s previous Series C financing, with the remaining $20 million to be invested contingent on a future qualifying investment round and other certain closing conditions.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sanofi onboard as an investor in Gyroscope. Their investment is a testament to the promise of our science and gene therapy programs to make a difference for people with serious eye diseases,” Gyroscope CEO Khurem Farooq said in a news release. “We believe our lead investigational gene therapy, GT005, has the potential to be the first gene therapy for geographic atrophy, a devastating cause of vision loss for more than 5 million people globally, and were pleased to recently announce additional encouraging data from our ongoing Phase I/II FOCUS clinical trial.”
Under the agreement, a Sanofi R&D executive will join Gyroscope’s clinical advisory board to advise on matters related to the development of GT005. At the same time, the company also granted Sanofi an exclusive right of first refusal on certain potential future transactions for GT005 in select geographies.
Gyroscope said it plans to use proceeds from the investment to support funding of ongoing clinical trials for GT005, which has received fast track designation by the FDA and is currently under evaluation in Phase II clinical trials.
GT005 is an investigational gene therapy designed to treat geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD. It represents part of the company’s early-stage pipeline that includes the proprietary Orbit subretinal delivery system that provides precise delivery of therapeutics to the back of the eye.
“Gyroscope’s ambition to develop gene therapies to treat geographic atrophy, a life-altering eye disease that has no approved treatments, aligns with our mission and our focus on pushing frontiers in genomic medicine,” Sanofi VP, Global Head of Genomic Medicine Christian Mueller said. “We are excited to be part of the Gyroscope story as they advance their promising investigational gene therapy, GT005, forward in clinical development.”