Autolus Business Outlook
06 January 2021
Autolus Business Outlook
Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science, today notes that its portfolio company, Autolus Therapeutics (Autolus) will provide a business outlook for 2021 and 2022.
Focus on AUTO1 programme
Autolus has taken the decision to prioritise the development of the AUTO1 programme for Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) based on the positive data that the programme has generated in its Phase 1/2 studies to date and the high unmet medical need in adult ALL. The Phase 1b/2 pivotal study for the AUTO1 programme is under way and the company plans to provide a full data read out from the study in CY2022.
Over the next six months, we anticipate that Martin Murphy will work closely alongside the senior leadership team of Autolus as they progress the AUTO1 programme through to its pivotal trial.
Plan to partner AUTO3 programme
Autolus plans to seek partnership opportunities to fund additional clinical development plans for AUTO3, in relapsed/refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), currently in a Phase 1/2 trial, before progressing the programme into the next phase of development.
In light of Autolus' decision to focus and prioritise the development of the AUTO1 programme, the company is taking decisive action in Q1 2021 to reduce its overall headcount by approximately 20 per cent. The company expects to realise cost savings, on an annualised basis, of approximately $15 million once the operational changes are fully implemented.
Autolus also announced a reorganisation of its management team. David Brochu was promoted to Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with expanded responsibilities from Senior Vice President, Product Delivery. Senior Vice Presidents Dr. Adam Hacker and Dr. Nushmia Khokhar will be leaving the company in Q1 2021. A search for a new Chief Medical Officer is ongoing.
The company will continue to build and leverage its platform and capability to progress its pipeline of next generation programmes in paediatric ALL (AUTO1/22) and peripheral T Cell Lymphoma (AUTO4) (which are currently in clinical trials), and multiple myeloma (AUTO8), neuroblastoma (AUTO6NG), peripheral T Cell Lymphoma (AUTO5) and prostate cancer (AUTO7) (which are currently in pre-clinical development).
Martin Murphy, CEO of Syncona Investment Management Limited and Director of Autolus, said: "We believe the AUTO1 programme for the treatment of adult ALL has the potential to be a stand-alone treatment for patients in an area of high unmet medical need and are fully supportive of Autolus' decision to prioritise this programme. The decisions to implement cost savings and ensure operational focus by looking to partner the AUTO3 programme, are important to ensure delivery of the AUTO1 programme and advance the company closer to commercialisation. Our strategy is to work closely with our portfolio companies and support them as they navigate clinical, financial and operational risks and fund them over the long-term as they seek to take products to approval. We look forward to continuing to support Autolus as they seek to deliver this ambition."
A copy of the full Autolus announcement will be available at: https://www.autolus.com/investor-relations/news-and-events/press-releases.
This announcement includes information that is inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No.596/2014. The person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of Syncona Ltd is Andrew Cossar, General Counsel, SIML.
Forward-looking statements - this announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the portfolio of investments of Syncona Limited. These statements and forecasts involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In particular, many companies in the Syncona Limited portfolio are conducting scientific research and clinical trials where the outcome is inherently uncertain and there is significant risk of negative results or adverse events arising. In addition, many companies in the Syncona Limited portfolio have yet to commercialise a product and their ability to do so may be affected by operational, commercial and other risks.
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Syncona (LON: SYNC) is a healthcare company focused on founding, building and funding a portfolio of global leaders in life science. Our purpose is to invest to extend and enhance human life. We do this by founding and building companies to deliver transformational treatments to patients in areas of high unmet need.
Our strategy is to found, build and fund companies around exceptional science to create a dynamic portfolio of 15-20 globally leading healthcare businesses for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We focus on developing treatments for patients by working in close partnership with world-class academic founders and management teams. Our strategic balance sheet underpins our strategy enabling us to take a long-term view as we look to improve the lives of patients with no or few treatment options, build sustainable life science companies and deliver strong risk-adjusted returns to shareholders.