(Sharecast News) – Healthcare investor Syncona reported a slight dip in net assets in its quarterly update on Thursday, to £1.24bn, down from £1.26bn at the end of March.
The company said that change also affected the per-share value, with a decrease from 186.5p to 184.6p, resulting in a net asset value (NAV) return of -1% for the quarter.

It said the primary factor behind the performance was the negative foreign exchange movements, notably sterling appreciation on the dollar.

That, Syncona said, had led to a net decline of £14.8m.

However, there was some positive news in the life science portfolio, which saw its value increase from £604.6m to £628.7m.

That increment, mainly due to a surge in the share price of Autolus Therapeutics, somewhat offset the impact of foreign exchange.

During the period, Syncona also deployed £24.4m, with a remaining capital pool of £613.1m as at 30 June, down from £650.1m in March.

“We are pleased by progress throughout the portfolio during the period, as our companies work towards their next operational, clinical and commercial milestones,” said Chris Hollowood at Syncona Investment Management.

“The expected late-stage data from our newest company Beacon, and Autolus’ upcoming BLA filing, represent significant near-term milestones as our later-stage companies move closer towards bringing products to patients.

“Whilst the financing environment for biotech companies continues to be challenging, our capital pool of £613.1m allows us to support our portfolio companies as they navigate these market conditions and we have also been delighted to see continued strong pharma interest in our portfolio.”

Syncona said it had seven clinical-stage companies across its “increasingly diversified” portfolio, adding that it was confident in their ability to execute on their key milestones.

“We believe the portfolio offers a significant opportunity to realise our ambition to bring transformational treatments to patients and deliver strong risk-adjusted returns to shareholders.”

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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