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Freeline Therapeutics Acquires SwanBio Therapeutics, Rebrands as New Gene Therapy Company

NEW YORK – Freeline Therapeutics on Monday announced it is acquiring SwanBio Therapeutics, and that the two gene therapy companies combined will rebrand under the name Spur Therapeutics.

Spur's lead candidate remains FLT201, a gene therapy that Freeline was developing as a treatment for Gaucher disease, a rare and inherited condition caused by a mutation in the GBA1 gene. However, Spur's R&D strategy will focus on pursuing gene therapies for more prevalent chronic conditions, such as Parkinson's and cardiovascular diseases.

Spur will also continue to advance SwanBio's SBT101 gene therapy for the rare and inherited neurodegenerative disease adrenomyeloneuropathy, which is caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene. It's currently being tested within a Phase I/II clinical trial.

The combined company, which is based in London, will be led by Freeline's management team.

Freeline and SwanBio were both portfolio companies of British investment trust Syncona, which took Freeline private last year. Syncona will own 99 percent of the combined company. On Monday, Syncona said it would commit another £40 million ($50 million) to support the development of Spur's pipeline.

"This is a further example of the proactive action being taken within the Syncona portfolio to prioritize capital and resources towards clinical-stage assets whilst exploring consolidations to drive combined strength," Chris Hollowood, Syncona's CEO and Spur's chairman, said in a statement.