Syncona says investee firm starts trials for new ‘personalised’ skin cancer therapy

Using a data platform, the treatment manufactures bespoke cells that destroy cancer without harming healthy tissue


Syncona Ltd (LON:SYNC) has announced that an investee firm Achilles Therapeutics has started trials for its clonal neoantigen T-cell (cNeT) therapy in patients with skin cancer.

The group said it is the first kind of tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte treatment to enter clinical trials that is specifically designed to target all cancer cells.

Achilles is developing personalised T-cell therapies that target clonal neoantigens, the protein markers on the surface of all cancer cells that are unique from patient to patient.

Using a data platform, the therapy identifies the individual's tumour profile and manufactures bespoke T-cells, called cNeTs, which destroy cancer without harming healthy tissue.

Results of the initial phase of trials, which involves 20 patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma, are expected for the first half of 2021, Syncona said.

Syncona owns 44% of Achilles, representing 5% of the FTSE 250-listed group's net asset value. Achilles is valued at £72mln.

"We remain big supporters of the technology platforms and asset portfolios that Syncona is building with its companies," Peel Hunt said.

"[We] believe SYNC is an elegant way to invest in Biotech without the risk of single-pipeline plays, and – particularly in reference to Achilles – like the personalised T-cell therapy approach, which we think has a place on the immuno-oncology landscape."

Shares were flat at 204.23p on Friday morning.

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