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6 August, 2020 - 21:42 By Tony Quested

UK gene therapy pioneer tilts at $125m NASDAQ IPO

Freeline Therapeutics in Stevenage, which is developing gene therapies for rare diseases, is bidding to raise $125 million through an IPO on the US technology market NASDAQ.

The company plans to offer 7.4 million American Depositary Shares at $16-$18 apiece.

Even hitting halfway up the range Freeline could clinch a market value of around $574m. The company's lead candidate, FLT180a, is an investigational gene therapy medicinal product candidate for the treatment of haemophilia B and is currently in a Phase 1/2 trial. 

Freeline closed a $120 million extended Series C financing in June 2020. The company’s stated aim is to transform the lives of patients suffering from inherited systemic debilitating diseases. Data gleaned from trials involving the first cohort of 10 patients was promising, the company says.

CEO Theresa Heggie said: “The feedback builds on previously reported data which suggest that FLT180a has the potential, using relatively low doses, to create durable FIX activity levels in the normal range in patients with severe Haemophilia B and provide a functional cure.” 

Freeline is headquartered at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and has operations in Germany and the US. It has plans to grow rapidly across all territories.

Targeting the liver with its novel gene therapy platform enables Freeline to treat a wide range of chronic diseases. Its proprietary split packaging technology and high performing capsid allows the company to target monogenic diseases and, in the future, potentially treat complex disease areas not currently targeted by gene therapy. 

Heggie said: “We plan to commercialise our next-generation AAV gene therapy platform for haemophilia B while we continue to deploy the capsid and manufacturing platform across our pipeline of novel indications.”

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