PRESS RELEASE — Genflow Biosciences, a UK-based biotechnology company focused on longevity and the development of therapies to counteract the effects of aging and diseases associated with advanced age, has announced 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 which can be influenced through innovative gene therapies to achieve healthier longevity.
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 but also 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.