Scenic Biotech Announces $31 Million in Funding to Advance Gene Modifier Pipeline in Cancer and Rare Diseases
AMSTERDAM, March 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Scenic Biotech BV (“Scenic”), a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease-modifying treatments for rare genetic disorders and other devastating diseases, is pleased to announce that it closed a series A financing of ~$31 million (28 million euros).
The funds will be used to accelerate Scenic’s transition to a development-stage company, advance its internal pipeline, and support the creation of new programs based on its Cell-Seq gene modifier target discovery platform, including new collaborations industrial.
The investment round was co-led by seasoned European investors, Eir Ventures, a Nordic life science venture fund, SwitzerlandBioMedPartners and Luxemburgbased on Vesalius Biocapital. Existing Dutch and UK investors Inkef Capital, BioGeneration Ventures and Oxford Science Enterprises participated, along with the founders and management of Scenic.
Scenic will now advance its flagship QPCTL small molecule immuno-oncology program into the clinic. Additionally, leveraging its Cel-Seq discovery platform, Scenic has generated a pipeline of disease-modifying therapies to treat devastating inherited rare diseases. Three of these programs, which are based on drug-based genetic modifiers, are progressing to enabling IND studies. The first program focuses on a small molecule to treat Niemann Pick Type C (NP-C), a rare lipid storage disorder that affects lipid metabolism, or the way fats, lipids and cholesterol are transported in human cells. The second program concerns Barth syndrome, an inherited mitochondrial disease caused by mutations in the gene coding for tafazzine. Barth syndrome is characterized by abnormalities in cardiolipin, an essential component of the inner mitochondrial membrane. And the third program is to treat severe hereditary metabolic syndrome.
Alongside its internal pipeline, Scenic has a multi-year, multi-indication strategic collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche group, to discover, develop and commercialize novel therapies targeting genetic modifiers. The collaboration has been expanded twice and now includes six scientific areas.
Following the Series A investment, Stephan Christgau PhD, General Partner Eir Ventures, Michael Wacker PhD, General Partner BioMedPartners and Stéphane Verdood MSc, MBA, Managing Partner Vesalius Biocapital will join Scenic’s Board of Directors.
Commenting on behalf of investors, Stephan Christgau said, “Scenic Biotech has the potential to become one of the Europe most interesting biotechnology companies. He is a pioneer in the revolutionary and promising new field of genetic modifiers. We are impressed with the power of its Cell-Seq platform and how it powers a portfolio of in-house and partnered programs across multiple therapeutic areas. This funding will allow Scenic to continue to develop its platform and move its lead program into human clinical trials while taking its rare disease programs to key infection points. »
CEO of Scenic Biotech Oscar Izeboud said, “I am delighted to welcome our new investors to the company and thank our existing investors for their continued support. We have made very significant progress since our seed investment, proving the value of our platform, extending its usefulness and expanding our We look forward to continued growth and delivering on our promise to develop new treatments to improve the lives of patients.
Scenic also plans to more than double its team over the next 18 months, including expanding its clinical capabilities. To accommodate the expansion, Scenic will expand its facilities within the thriving life science hub of the Science Park east of amsterdam.
About Scenic Biotech
Scenic Biotech is focused on identifying genetic modifiers, an entirely new class of disease targets, for drug intervention. Also known as disease suppressors, genetic modifiers are genes that work to suppress or completely block the effect of a disease-causing mutated gene.
As a pioneer in the field, Scenic Biotech leverages its Cell-Seq discovery platform to identify genetic modifiers in multiple therapeutic areas. It is building a pipeline of disease-modifying therapies to treat devastating diseases, including inherited rare diseases and cancer. Its main programs include an immuno-oncology program targeting QPCTL and three rare disease programs based on drug-based genetic modifiers. Rare disease programs consist of; Niemann guitar pick type C disease (NP-C1), a rare lipid storage disorder that affects lipid metabolism or the way fats, lipids and cholesterol are transported within human cells, Barth syndrome, a disorder of the X-linked lipid metabolism that affects the heart, and a program to treat severe inherited metabolic syndrome.
Scenic Biotech has a multi-year strategic collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche group, to discover, develop and commercialize novel therapies targeting genetic modifiers.
Based at Amsterdam, NetherlandsScenic Biotech was founded in 2017 as a spin-out from the Netherlands Cancer Institute, and Oxford University. It is backed by a pan-European syndicate of venture capitalists which includes Eir Ventures, BioMedPartners, Vesalius Biocapital, BioGeneration Ventures, Inkef Capital and Oxford Science Enterprises.
“Scenic Biotech” means all companies of the Scenic group, comprising Scenic Holding BV and its two wholly owned subsidiaries: Scenic Immunology BV and Scenic Biotech BV.
For more information, visit: www.scenicbiotech.com
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About Eir Ventures
Eir Ventures is a life sciences-focused venture capital fund with a strong foundation in the Nordic Biotech ecosystem that will invest in early-stage companies, as well as more mature opportunities. The fund began its investment activities in 2020 and seeks investment opportunities that address significant unmet medical needs in new therapies, medical technologies and digital health. Eir Ventures AB is led by a team of experienced life science investors and backed by a strong syndicate of investors including Saminvest, European Investment Fund (EIF), Vækstfonden, Novo Holdings, private investors as well as Nordic universities. Eir Ventures is a registered alternative investment fund under the Swedish Alternative Investment Fund Managers Act.
For more information, visit: www.eirventures.eu
Situated at Basel, Switzerland, BioMedPartners is an independent European venture capital firm that acts as a lead or co-lead investor providing investment capital to early-stage to mid-stage life science companies. Since 2002, BioMedPartners has invested in several highly innovative companies, twenty-two of which have already been successfully acquired by leading biopharmaceutical companies or have completed an IPO. With over 350 million francs capital under management and a strong team of experienced industry experts as well as an extensive scientific and pharmaceutical network, BioMedPartners has established itself as one of the leading early-stage human health investors Europe. In February 2018 the company announced the closing of BioMedInvest III, their third venture capital fund of 100 million francs. In this third fund, BioMedPartners focuses on creating companies with highly innovative start-up technology assets and platforms. One of BioMedInvest III’s first investments was in the Swiss immuno-oncology company Amal S.A. (Geneva) which was acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in June 2019.
For more information, visit: www.biomedvc.com
About Vesalius Biocapital
Vesalius Biocapital is a European life science venture capital investor. The active Vesalius Biocapital III fund was definitively closed in May 2019 with 120 million euros in commitments.
We invest in attractive, early-stage companies in the areas of drug development, medical devices and diagnostics and e-health/m-health, primarily in Europe. Our portfolio companies address unmet medical and market needs and operate on the basis of strong intellectual property protection.
For more information, visit: www.vesaliusbiocapital.com
For more information, please contact:
For Scenic Biotech
In the business
Sue CharlesCharles Consulting,
+44 (0)7986 726585
For Eir Ventures
+46 73 731 41 46
For BioMed Partners
+41 76 417 4765
For Vesalius Biocapital
+352 26 84 56 82
SOURCE Scenic Biotech