Genflow Biosciences Plc (“Genflow” or ” the Company”), a UK-based biotechnology company focused on longevity and the development of therapies to counteract the effects of ageing and diseases associated with advanced age.
Is pleased to announce its intention to seek a listing of its ordinary shares to the Standard Listing segment of the London Stock Exchange.
The Company will become the first longevity biotechnology firm to list in Europe. Genflow has raised £3.7m in an oversubscribed placing, conditional upon Admission becoming effective. The flotation will value Genflow at approximately £23.4m.
Net proceeds from the IPO will be deployed to further research into the impact of the Sirtuin-6 (“SIRT6″) gene mutation on the ageing process and its potential beneficial impact on health spans.
The move comes at a time when longevity is becoming the focus of significant clinical research and is attracting considerable global capital. The past 15 years have seen extraordinary developments in the understanding of the biology of ageing, on which the scientific and biotechnology community can now act. Genflow’s Directors believe that ageing is a multifactorial, complex biological process that can be influenced through innovative gene therapies to achieve healthier longevity.
The Company is developing gene therapies designed to target the ageing process and to reduce and delay the incidence of age-related diseases. This will be done through novel therapeutics targeting ageing in humans and dogs by using genetically modified adeno-associated virus ( ” AAV ” ) vectors to deliver copies of the SIRT6 gene variant that is found in centenarians. SIRT6 has already been shown to have significant capabilities to repair DNA damage. This will improve health spans (living healthier for longer) and potentially, life expectancy. The Company primarily seeks to develop its lead compound, GF-1002, a recombinant self-complementary AAV containing a transgene encoding the cDNA (coding DNA) portion of a variant of the human SIRT6 gene found in centenarians, that has already yielded promising pre-clinical results.
Genflow is currently undertaking pre-clinical trials which are expected to take approximately two years.
To date, research into longevity, and longevity-related investment, has primarily been centred in the USA, where industry leaders such as Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel have invested heavily. The UK also has an attractive life sciences sector for investors, and the longevity market appears poised for further significant growth.
The market opportunity in the longevity field of medicine is extremely wide and diverse because, as life expectancy increases, so does the incidence of age-related disease. Genflow believes that interest in treatments that seek to boost health and lifespan in tandem (and so achieve healthy ageing) will drive growth in this space. The scale of the opportunity is driven by four key factors: a growing proportion of people living longer; a shift in the disease burden towards age-related diseases; scientific progress in understanding the biological pathways of ageing; and the economic value of ageing well.
The economic value of treatments that tackle age-related diseases comes from the prospects of both containing costs and the benefits from ageing well. The OECD estimates that health expenditure will rise from 8.8% of GDP in 2015 to 10.2% by 2030 with demographic pressures driving a quarter of this increase. Slowing the rise of age-related diseases will help to contain this. For the US, it has been estimated that the benefits of slowing ageing such that life expectancy increases by between one and two years is worth between $7 trillion and $38 trillion.
Dr. Eric Leire, Founder and CEO of Genflow Biosciences, said: “We are delighted to be taking an important step for the life sciences sector by becoming the first pure-play longevity company to list in Europe. The longevity sector has enjoyed sustained growth in recent years driven by breakthrough science and favourable demographic changes such as the growth of aging populations. Genflow’s team of experts has a wealth of skills, experience and knowledge to guide the Company to a bright future, and to capitalise on this opportunity for the longevity sector. We believe Genflow will unlock value for investors whilst creating real change for the better to peoples’ lives in this exciting sector.”
Clear Capital Markets Ltd is acting as the broker for the Company.
Genflow was established in order to develop therapies to allow people to live longer, healthier lives.
Genflow has assembled a team of leading experts in the longevity and gene delivery fields, with decades of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. The team benefits from a proven track record of value creation and the important combination of technical gene therapy and entrepreneurial skills. The Company is led, and was founded by, Dr. Eric Leire, who has two decades of experience in cell and gene therapy and has led several gene and cell therapy companies, including Enochian Biosciences which is listed on the Nasdaq. Dr Leire has brought together longevity sector experts to establish a strong Scientific Advisory Board which will guide the Company’s pre-clinical and clinical programmes and provide external perspectives to steer Genflow’s research and development strategies.
The Company’s gene therapy approach represents a shift in the management of age-related diseases as Genflow is singularly focussed on healthy longevity and the development of a SIRT6 based therapy, as well as a holistic approach to the nine hallmarks of ageing*. Longevity specialists typically look at just one of the nine hallmarks, and therefore can only hope to solve 1/9th of the problem, whereas unlike its competitors, Genflow will initially be looking at four of the nine hallmarks.
The Company is headquartered in London and has a Belgian R&D subsidiary, Genflow Biosciences SRL (“Genflow BE”) that was established in 2020. Genflow BE’s location enables it to benefit from the relatively low operating costs and from substantial (non diluting) grants that support its research and development that are available from Belgium’s Wallonia region.
In addition to pre-clinical activities, Genflow seeks an earlier path to revenue with respect to Werner Syndrome, a rare progressive disorder characterised by the appearance of unusually accelerated ageing. Genflow intends to conduct a European Phase I/II clinical trial with Werner Syndrome patients. The Company believes that positive clinical data will be the source of significant value creation through, potential acquisition or licensing arrangements. Moreover, a trial in Werner Syndrome will support the path to a specific aging indication.
Since 2020, the Company has secured investment from venture capital funds, raising gross proceeds of £832,700 which it has used to:
· Establish a laboratory at the Gosselies Biopark in Belgium;
· Build an intellectual property portfolio through a licenced patent for SIRT6, generate an operating version of its own SIRT6-specific AAV construct and a pipeline of gene therapy candidates (GF-1002 and GF-2001). The Company benefits from diversified and broad IP protection that includes any product containing the SIRT6 variant and any use of it ;
· Conduct initial in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies;
· Set up a scientific advisory group;
· Define its pre-clinical and clinical development programmes; and
· Obtain SME status from the European Medicine Agency and research grants from the Wallonia region, Belgium.
The Group has extensive relationships within the longevity field and with leading academic centres and has entered into collaborations, including with:
· A collaboration agreement with St Anne’s University Hospital – International Clinical Research Center, in Brno, Czech Republic in which the parties agreed to collaborate on a pre-clinical programme to assess the effect of SIRT6 delivery on cellular senescence and metabolism in vitro and in vivo.
· A collaboration agreement with IVEX Lab OÜ, who are based in Estonia, in which the Company and IVEX agreed to collaborate on the development of AAV for vectors for SIRT6 therapy and on the large-scale production of AAV vectors for in vivo study in animal models.
For further information please contact:
Dr Eric Leire
via Tancredi +44 203 434 2330
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