Gyroscope Therapeutics has announced a merger with Orbit Biomedical.

The companies will function under the Gyroscope name, and will become the first fully-integrated retinal gene therapy company with clinical, manufacturing and delivery capabilities.

The merger will be led by newly appointed chief executive officer, Khurem Farooq, who prior to joining the company was the senior vice president of the Immunology and Ophthalmology business unit at Genentech.

In addition to Mr Farooq, the company’s leadership team will include Soraya Bekkali, who led Gyroscope into the clinic and will continue to lead the research and development organisation, and Susan Hill, who led the launch of Orbit and will become Gyroscope’s chief business officer.

The two units belong to Sycona, who will own 82% of the company under its new name, with a holding value of £28.9 million.

Chris Hollowood, chief investment officer of Syncona and chair of Gyroscope, said: “Gyroscope is one of the first companies globally to move gene therapy out of rare diseases through the delivery of natural regulatory proteins. As retinal gene therapy progresses to more prevalent conditions, delivering a therapeutic in a way that ensures higher consistency of dosing, whilst allowing patients to receive a less invasive treatment, is key to widespread use and clinical effectiveness.

“The merger ensures Gyroscope now has all the platform capabilities it requires to develop and deliver its therapeutics commercially. This marks an important step in fulfilling founding academics, David Kavanagh and Andrew Lotery’s vision of widespread use of genetically defined treatments for dry AMD.”