- Jeito Capital selects Alentis Therapeutics as its fifth investment since launching the fund
- Alentis is focused on the development of breakthrough treatments for fibrotic diseases and associated cancers
Paris, France, 15 June 2021 – Jeito Capital (“Jeito”), a rapidly emerging independent Private Equity firm dedicated to biotech and biopharma, today announces that it has become a key investor as part of a $67 million Series B financing round in Alentis Therapeutics (Alentis). The Swiss biotech company, a spin-off of French Inserm with R&D in Strasbourg, France, is developing breakthrough therapies for patients suffering from fibrotic diseases and associated cancers.
Proceeds from the financing round will be used for proof-of-concept clinical trials of Alentis’ first-in-class assets, uniquely targeting fibrosis pathways for the treatment of life-threatening advanced liver and kidney fibrosis as well as associated cancers. Alentis expects to initiate its first clinical trial by the end of 2021.
Jeito’s investment aims to enable Alentis to accelerate the clinical pathway for various indications, with the potential to provide life-changing treatments to severely ill patients who have no other options. The investment will also give the Company the opportunity to expand its pipeline and explore further indications, including fibrotic associated cancers.
The financing round brings in Jeito Capital and Morningside Venture Investments alongside existing investors BioMed Partners, BB Pureos Bioventures, Bpifrance, High-Tech Gründerfonds and Schroders Capital. Following the fundraise, Rafaèle Tordjman, Founder and CEO of Jeito Capital, will join Alentis’ Board of Directors.
This is Jeito’s fifth investment since launching its fund in 2020. With more than €250 million under management, Jeito Capital is building a strong and diversified portfolio in biotech and biopharma companies based in Europe with global reach focused on the treatment of life-threatening diseases. Previous investments include French companies SparingVision and InnoSkel, respectively in the fields of ophthalmology and rare skeletal disorders, Dutch biotech Neogene Therapeutics in solid tumors, and recently Pulmocide in respiratory diseases, based in the UK.
Alentis is led by a highly experienced management team from the biotech and pharma industries. The Company’s science is based on more than 10 years of research by founder Thomas Baumert, a world class hepatology expert who currently serves as the head of Inserm’s Institute of Viral and Liver Diseases. Prof. Baumert’s research in Claudin-1 is unique and, until now, has not been explored as a potential treatment target for fibrotic diseases.
Rafaèle Tordjman, founder and CEO of Jeito, said: “Our investment in Alentis at this pivotal time of development will be crucial for its success and we are looking forward to working closely alongside their very experienced team. Our expertise lies in helping management teams from the science right through to commercialization of the product and here we will aim to accelerate Alentis’ efforts towards the initiation of the company’s first clinical trials. This represents our fifth investment in our diverse portfolio and strengthens our commitment to investing in European biotechs working towards the development of life- saving assets targeted at diseases with unmet need based on outstanding science.”
Dr. Roberto Iacone, Chief Executive Officer at Alentis Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted to have closed this financing round with new investors Jeito Capital and Morningside Venture Investments, two well respected and highly knowledgeable institutions within the healthcare space who will bring invaluable experience to the Board as we progress towards the initiation of our first clinical trials. Building on 20 years of work and positive preclinical data collected on ALE.F02, we are confident in the success of the upcoming trials as we work with both new and existing investors towards commercialization, providing a much needed safe and effective treatment to patients suffering from fibrotic diseases and hepatobiliary cancers.”
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading investment company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports entrepreneurs through its expert, integrated, multi-talented team and through the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, building market leaders in their respective therapeutic areas with accelerated patients’ access in Europe & the United States. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States. For more information, please follow @Jeito_life on Twitter or LinkedIn.
About Alentis Therapeutics
Alentis Therapeutics is a Swiss-based biotech that focuses on developing breakthrough treatments for fibrotic diseases. The company was founded in 2019 based on ground-breaking research in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Baumert MD at the University of Strasbourg and the French National Institute of Health (Inserm).
The company’s lead candidates are monoclonal antibodies that are highly selective for Claudin-1, a novel, previously unexploited target with a unique mechanism of action that plays a key role in the pathology of liver fibrosis and fibrosis-driven hepatobiliary cancers. It also has early discovery programs exploring the potential of Claudin-1 inhibition in the treatment of fibrosis of other tissues including the kidney and lung. These represent very large and expanding markets with high unmet need. Furthermore, the company uses a patient-derived drug and target discovery platform to develop medicines for advanced fibrosis.
Unlike current therapies in fibrosis, which mostly address the disease indirectly, Alentis’ pioneering approach has the potential to directly modify and reverse the course of disease progression.
Alentis is headquartered in Basel’s pharma-biotech hub in Switzerland with a subsidiary for R&D in Strasbourg, France.