UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


Gene therapy spinouts receive record investment

In 2018, four UCL gene therapy companies raised an astounding £438 million. UCL Business (UCLB), the commercialisation arm of UCL and part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise, helped launch the spinouts.


2 November 2020

UCL is one of the world’s top research centres for advanced therapeutics.

We are grateful for the support of our partner NHS Trust hospitals, research councils, government, charities and industry. Thanks to them and UCLB, we can take our expertise beyond the lab to relieve debilitating diseases and save lives.

Four spinout companies raised £438m in 2018:

Orchard Therapeutics gained $225m (£173m) through its initial public offering (IPO). Orchard arose from the work of Professor Bobby Gaspar and Professor Adrian Thrasher at the UCL Institute of Child Health and is striving for cures for rare, inherited disorders.

Autolus Therapeutics reprogrammes the immune system to fight cancer. Autolus originated from the research of Martin Pule and his team at the UCL Cancer Institute. It debuted on the NASDAQ raising $160 million (£126m).

Athena Vision was established by Professor Robin Ali (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) to develop gene therapies to treat eye diseases. It was acquired in the formation of MeiraGTx. The latter achieved $75 million at the close of its IPO.

Freeline Therapeutics evolved from the research of Professor Amit Nathwani (UCL Cancer Institute) into gene therapy for haemophilia B. In 2018, it raised over £88 million in Series B financing.

Further reading
£438 million of investment raised by four UCL gene therapy spinouts this year