Scenic Biotech Announces $31 Million Financing to Progress Pipeline of Genetic Modifiers in Cancer and Rare Diseases
Scenic Biotech BV (“Scenic”), a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, is pleased to announce it has closed a Series A financing of ~$31 million (€28 million).
The funds will be used to accelerate Scenic’s transition into a development stage company, advancing its in-house pipeline and supporting the creation of new programs based on its Cell-Seq genetic modifier target discovery platform including new industry collaborations.
The investment round was co-led by seasoned European investors, Eir Ventures, a Nordic Life Science venture fund, Switzerland-based BioMedPartners and Luxemburg-based Vesalius Biocapital. Existing Dutch and UK investors Inkef Capital, BioGeneration Ventures and Oxford Science Enterprises participated, together with Scenic’s founders and management.
Scenic will now advance its lead QPCTL small molecule immuno-oncology program into the clinic. In addition, by leveraging its Cel-Seq discovery platform, Scenic has generated a pipeline of disease modifying therapeutics to treat devastating inherited rare diseases. Three of these programs, which are based on druggable genetic modifiers, are being progressed towards IND enabling studies. The first program is centered 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 is for Barth syndrome, an inherited mitochondrial disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding Tafazzin. Barth syndrome is characterized by defects in cardiolipin, a critical component of the inner mitochondrial membrane. And the third program is to treat a severe heritable metabolic syndrome.
Alongside its in-house pipeline, Scenic has a multi-year, multi-indication strategic collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to discover, develop and commercialize novel therapeutics that target 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 Stephane Verdood MSc, MBA, Managing Partner Vesalius Biocapital will join Scenic’s board of directors.
Commenting on behalf of the investors, Stephan Christgau said, “Scenic Biotech has the potential to become one of Europe’s most exciting biotech companies. It is a pioneer in the ground-breaking and promising new field of genetic modifiers. We are impressed by the power of its Cell-Seq platform and how it’s fueling a portfolio of in-house and partnered programs across multiple therapeutic areas. This financing will enable Scenic to continue to develop its platform and move its lead program into human clinical trials while bringing its rare disease programs to key value infection points.”
Scenic Biotech’s CEO Oscar Izeboud said, “I am delighted to welcome our new investors to the company and to 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 utility, and expanding our team. We look forward to continuing our growth and delivering on our promise to develop novel treatments to improve patients’ lives.”
Scenic anticipates more than doubling its team in the coming 18 months including building its clinical capabilities. To accommodate the expansion Scenic will be expanding its facilities within the flourishing life sciences cluster at the Science Park in the East of Amsterdam.