UCL Technology Fund has announced that one of its investments, MeiraGTx Holdings plc, a vertically integrated, clinical stage gene therapy company, has raised $75 million of gross proceeds upon the close of its initial public offering (IPO), selling 5,000,000 shares.
The UCL Technology Fund (UCLTF) is managed by Albion Capital in collaboration with UCL Business (UCLB) and is dedicated to bringing UCL’s world-class research in life and physical sciences to commercial reality. MeiraGTx is its first investment to IPO.
MeiraGTx has strong roots in UCL; its rare eye diseases business was borne out of the laboratories of Professor Robin Ali, a human molecular genetics expert at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, a world leader in ocular gene therapy.
MeiraGTx is developing therapies for diseases of the eye, salivary glands and central nervous system. Its expertise in viral vector design and optimisation, advanced gene therapy manufacturing, and technology providing temporal control of gene therapies, has the potential to transform the gene therapy landscape.
Based in London and New York, the company has four ongoing clinical programmes, one compassionate use programme and a broad pipeline of preclinical and research programmes.
Funds raised from the IPO will enable MeiraGTx to progress its product candidates to treat inherited rare eye diseases, xerostomia (‘dry mouth’) and neurodegenerative diseases.
Founded in the UK in 2015 in a series of deals which combined the assets and expertise of MeiraGTx and UCLB spinout Athena Vision, Athena Vision was created by UCLB, who owned the rights and options to Professor Robin Ali’s and team’s ophthalmic gene therapy programmes. The UCL Technology Fund first supported MeiraGTx as part of a $70mn Series B investment round in 2017 to fund the continuation of its clinical trials.
“MeiraGTx is revolutionising the treatment of ocular, nerve and salivary gland diseases with highly specialised, flexible gene therapies which have the potential to dramatically decrease morbidity and improve quality of life,” said Christoph Ruedig, partner at Albion Capital.
“We are impressed by the way the company combines cutting-edge science, a nimble platform and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to deliver life-changing gene treatments. We look forward to supporting the business’s ongoing development through the next stage of its journey as a public company.”