Mnemo Therapeutics Names Robert LaCaze as Chief Executive Officer
Mnemo Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing next-generation T cell therapies, today announced the appointment of Robert LaCaze as the company’s new chief executive officer effective May 1. A recognized oncology leader with a focus on driving innovation and value for patients, Mr. LaCaze joins Mnemo from Bayer, where he served as executive vice president and head of the company’s Oncology Strategic Business Unit. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer Pharmaceutical AG. Founding CEO Alain Maiore will continue in the role until May 1, and then will take on the role of chief operating officer.
“Robert’s wealth of experience overseeing strategy and operations for global bio-pharmaceutical industry leaders will strengthen our team as we pursue our mission to harness the power of cell therapy for all patients in need,” said Mnemo Board of Directors Chair, Dieter Weinand. “Under Alain’s leadership, Mnemo has achieved historic success as a French biotech, and his unparalleled understanding of the science and team will prove invaluable as Mnemo continues to strengthen and grow and its needs evolve. As CEO and COO, respectively, Robert and Alain will combine their talents to execute Mnemo’s strategy.”
“With a record-breaking Series A financing in France and a rapidly growing team, Mnemo is well on its way to turn its vision for unprecedented breakthroughs for patients with cancer into reality,” said Mr. LaCaze. “I am honored to join this dynamic team and bring my background and insights to bear as we work to overcome the key challenges of CAR-T therapy. The company is focused on developing leading edge science aimed at bringing important medicines with potentially curative intent to patients.”
In his immediate past position as executive vice president at Bayer, Mr. LaCaze oversaw the oncology franchise of Bayer AG globally. Before joining Bayer, Mr. LaCaze was the senior vice president of Global Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb and co-led the Oncology Disease Strategy Team. He serves on the Louisiana Tech College of Business Administration Advisory Board and is a member of AACR. LaCaze received a Bachelor of Science in business marketing from Louisiana Tech University.
In addition to the leadership appointments, Mnemo also recently opened state-of-the art laboratories in Paris and New York that will house its growing team.
“The growth and progress that the Mnemo team has seen in the past year both on the scientific and operational fronts speaks to a team that is audacious, resilient and united by a deep sense of shared purpose,” said Mr. Maiore. “In 2021 our team more than doubled in size, including key leadership hires in the United States and France. With Robert as our CEO, we will continue to expand Mnemo’s presence, leveraging a rich talent and resource pool across the globe. I am delighted to partner with Robert to navigate Mnemo’s path to continued growth and success.”
Mnemo announced its launch in June of 2021 with a €75 million ($90 million) Series A financing. The Series A financing was led by Casdin Capital, returning investor Sofinnova Partners, and an undisclosed investor, including participation from Redmile, Emerson Collective and Alexandria Venture Investments. The financing supported the development of Mnemo’s EnfiniT platform, a next-generation toolkit for CAR T immunotherapy that is designed to overcome current therapeutic limitations. The EnfiniT platform is founded on decades of breakthrough research from Institut Curie and Memorial Sloan Kettering, and supported with best-in-class T cell manufacturing.