No heel needed for Achilles

Not having any clinical data under its belt has not stopped Achilles Therapeutics from closing a series B financing round that puts it in UK biotech’s all-time top five venture capital raises. While the company will not disclose the valuation at which today’s £100m ($120m) series B raise was done this will likely stand in the hundreds of millions of dollars, representing a huge uplift for Syncona, its founding investor. Syncona’s last disclosed stake in the company, 69%, was carried at a valuation of just $28m. Achilles focuses on the development of unmodified, expanded, autologous TILs (tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes) targeting clonal neoantigens, and has a lead project, ATL001, that recently started clinical trials in melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Knowing Syncona’s views on the public markets, and the fact that the series B round was led by a new US fund, RA Capital, there can be little doubt that a Nasdaq IPO is in the works for Achilles.

The UK's biggest VC financings for UK biotech
Company Investment ($m) Date Financing round
Immunocore 320.0 Jul 2015 Undisclosed
Orchard Therapeutics 150.0 Aug 2018 Series C
Freeline Therapeutics 123.9 Jun 2018 Series B
Achilles Therapeutics 119.9 Sep 2019 Series B
Mereo Biopharma 119.0 Jul 2015 Series A
Benevolentai 115.0 Apr 2018 Undisclosed
Orchard Therapeutics 112.2 Dec 2017 Series B
Adaptimmune 104.0 Sep 2014 Series A
Archimedes Pharma 100.0 Mar 2010 Undisclosed
Kymab 100.0 Nov 2016 Series C
Source: EvaluatePharma.

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