London, UK-based gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics has announced investment from Sanofi totalling up to $60m, with $40m to be invested initially.

Following the initial $40m investment, the remaining $20m will be invested contingent on a future qualifying investment round and subject to the satisfaction of ‘certain closing conditions’.

Gyroscope will use the investment to support ongoing clinical trial of its investigational AAV2-based gene therapy GT005 for geographic atrophy secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The gene therapy is designed to restore balance to an overactive complement system – part of the immune system – by increasing production of the Complement Factor I (CFI) protein which regulates the activity of the complement system.

“We believe our lead investigational gene therapy, GT005, has the potential to be the first gene therapy for geographic atrophy, a devastating cause of vision loss for more than five million people globally, and were pleased to recently announce additional encouraging data from our ongoing Phase I/II FOCUS clinical trial,” said Khurem Farooq, chief executive officer of Gyroscope.

“Gyroscope’s ambition to develop gene therapies to treat geographic atrophy, a life-altering eye disease that has no approved treatments, aligns with our mission and our focus on pushing frontiers in genomic medicine,” added Christian Mueller, vice president, global head of Genomic Medicine, Sanofi.