A number of investors from the UK have teamed up to create a £1bn cancer-focused fund.

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The arrangement will see Wellcome Trusts investment spin out Syncona combine assets with the Battle Against Cancer Investment Fund (BACIT).

Additional investment has been provided to BACIT from Cancer Research UK through the CRT Pioneer Fund. The Chief Executive Officer of Syncona, Martin Murphy, said: “Over the last four years we have established a series of exciting life-science companies with the potential to deliver life-changing outcomes for patients suffering from debilitating diseases. Combining with BACIT allows Syncona to provide those companies with greater ongoing support as they grow and to make further investments in the life science space.”

The merger, which is awaiting approval, will see the Wellcome Trust become the largest shareholder in BACIT. As part of the merger, the Syncona team will continue to take an active role in creating and building life science companies, something they are well known for.

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Immunotherapy companies Autolus, Achilles Therapeutics and gene therapy company Freeline Therapeutics have all been formed with its aid.

The Wellcome Trust will become the largest stakeholder in BACIT with at least the majority of Cancer Research UK’s investment in the CRT Pioneer Fund transferred to BACIT ads well. The investment fund will continue to make an annual donation of 0.3% of the net asset value of the company to charity each year.

Wellcome Director Dr Jeremy Farrar said: “We launched Syncona with a long-term vision to offer support for some of the best innovators in life sciences and to deliver impact to patients. It has already achieved great things and this proposal, which will see it align with BACIT and Cancer Research UK, will allow it to spread its wings and expand its horizons further.”

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