London, 3 March 2016 – Autolus Limited ("Autolus"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of next-generation engineered T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours, announced today that it has raised £40 million of new capital in a Series B financing round. Woodford Investment Management LLP ("Woodford") and Perceptive Bioscience Investments Ltd ("Perceptive Bioscience") participated in the new investment, which augments the previous £30 million Seed and Series A investment from founding investor Syncona LLP ("Syncona").
The funds will enable Autolus to develop its proprietary pipeline of engineered T-cell products, and to further implement its industry-leading platform of T-cell programming technologies. In parallel with the financing, the Company's technology platform was enhanced by a licence to additional technologies from UCL Business PLC, UCL's (University College London) technology transfer company ("UCLB").
In association with the financing, Dr Joe Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Perceptive Bioscience, has joined the board of directors of Autolus.
Dr Christian Itin, Chairman of Autolus, said:
"We are pleased to welcome investors of the calibre of Woodford Investment Management and Perceptive Bioscience, which support our goal of building Autolus into a leading engineered T-cell company. The quality of Autolus' technology and pipeline has allowed the company to raise £70m since its foundation in September 2014, and positions us to take multiple programmes into the clinic. We have also expanded the scope of our licence with UCLB to bring additional inventions from founder Dr Martin Pule's group into the company adding to the suite of Autolus' T-cell programming technologies."
Dr Joe Anderson, CEO of Perceptive Bioscience, added:
"We are delighted that Perceptive Bioscience's first investment is in a company with the potential to transform cancer therapy. Autolus is at the cutting-edge of T-cell engineering to create a new generation of programmed T-cells acting as agents to kill tumour cells. Our investment in Autolus underlines our commitment to supporting emerging, innovative companies. Our flexible investment platform enables us to assist companies with finance and practical support whatever their stage of development."
Dr Martin Murphy, CEO of Syncona, said:
"We are excited that Woodford and Perceptive Bioscience have invested in Autolus. The company is now funded by a group of investors that share our vision of creating sustainable standalone businesses that will develop products designed to deliver exceptional benefit to patients in areas of high unmet need."
Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCLB, commented:
"We are delighted to support this significant milestone in Autolus' development. The licence and the commitment from Syncona, Woodford and Perceptive Bioscience provide a solid foundation to translate the licensed UCL technologies into healthcare benefits for patients."
Autolus is founded upon the work of Dr Martin Pule, an academic clinical haematologist at the UCL Cancer Institute and NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre and a thought-leader in T-cell engineering. It is a next-generation engineered T-cell company, developing a series of T-cell products based on its proprietary targets, constructs and technologies.