- Neogene becomes Jeito Capital’s first investment following the fund I launch in January 2020
- Round co-led by Jeito Capital alongside EcoR1 Capital and Syncona; with support from Neogene Therapeutics’ strategic seed investors Vida Ventures, TPG Capital and Two River
- Neogene Therapeutics is focused on developing a new class of fully personalized neo-antigen T cell therapies to treat a range of cancers, with a focus on solid tumors
Paris, France, 14 September 2020 – Jeito Capital (“Jeito”), a rapidly emerging independent investor dedicated to biotech and biopharma, today announced that it has co-led a $110 million Series A financing in Neogene Therapeutics, Inc. (“Neogene”), a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering a new class of fully personalized neo-antigen T cell therapies to treat cancer. The financing was co-led by Jeito alongside new investors EcoR1 Capital and Syncona with support from Neogene’s strategic seed investors Vida Ventures, TPG Capital and Two River.
Neogene has developed a proprietary technology platform that is able to identify and isolate specific T cell receptor (TCR) genes from routine tumor samples using state-of-the-art synthetic biology tools. Using this state-of-the-art synthetic biology, Neogene’s platform selects identified TCRs specific to mutated proteins found in a patient’s cancer cells (neo-antigens) with high sensitivity, specificity and at scale. The isolated TCR genes are subsequently engineered into T cells of cancer patients to provide large numbers of potent and targeted T cells for therapy.
Neogene has already achieved proof-of-concept for its neo-antigen technology platform and the Series A financing will enable the Company to further develop its technology and progress towards clinical stage. The funds will also be used to grow the Company’s offices in Amsterdam, New York and Santa Monica.
Rafaèle Tordjman, Founder and CEO at Jeito, said: “We are extremely pleased to have made our first investment according to plan and in such a high-quality company. Neogene’s approach perfectly aligns with Jeito’s mission to support new and established entrepreneurs aspiring to help patients in need by pioneering novel, ground-breaking medicines that rethink traditional approaches. With the depth of experience of Neogene’s leadership team, the quality of its science, and its strong new and existing investor base we believe that Neogene has significant potential to transform cancer treatment for patients around the world.
“Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have been encouraged by our strong deal flow in Europe and we remain on track to meet our targets. We look forward to announcing further investments in the near future as we continue to identify opportunities to invest in ground-breaking medical innovation in Europe and beyond.”
Dr. Carsten Linnemann, CEO at Neogene, said: “Neogene is committed to forging a new path for fully personalized treatment options for cancer patients and we are pleased to welcome Jeito Capital as a new investor alongside EcoR1 Capital and Syncona. Attracting investors of such a high caliber is a further validation of our technology and strategy to bring personalized engineered T cell therapies to patients.”
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is an international investment company with a patient benefit driven approach that focuses both on financing ground-breaking medical innovation and promoting positive societal impact. Jeito has a unique, long-term investment strategy, with the aim of providing continuity from clinical development to market access for breakthrough drugs with validated proofs of concept. This continuity is expressed both in the support provided to entrepreneurs by the Jeito Capital team and by the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, the acceleration towards commercialization and faster access to these major innovations. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States.
About Neogene Therapeutics
Neogene Therapeutics, Inc. is a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering development of next-generation, fully personalized engineered T cells therapies for a broad spectrum of cancers. The Company’s engineered T cells target mutated proteins found in cancer cells due to cancer-associated DNA mutations, or neo-antigens, that render tumor cells vulnerable to detection by T cells. Neogene’s proprietary technology platform aims to identify TCR genes with specificity for neo- antigens from tumor biopsies. Neogene’s novel approach intends to deliver a tailored set of TCR genes for each individual patient, which will be engineered into patient-derived T cells directing them towards neo- antigens in tumor cells, with the goal of providing a fully personalized engineered T cell therapy for cancer.
Neogene was founded in 2018 by a team of world-class cell therapy experts to advance the development of neo-antigen T cell therapies. Carsten Linnemann, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Neogene, and Ton Schumacher, Ph.D., Principal Investigator at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Oncode Institute and 2020 recipient of the Dutch Research Council’s Stevin Award co-founded the Company with individual investments by cell therapy industry veterans Arie Belldegrun, M.D. FACS, founder of Kite Pharma, Inc. and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. and David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Co- Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allogene. Dr. Linnemann and Dr. Schumacher previously co-founded T-Cell Factory B.V., a company acquired by Kite Pharma in 2015. Dr. Schumacher, an internationally leading immunologist in the areas of neo-antigen biology and T cell engineering, developed the seminal concepts of Neogene’s proprietary technology. For more information, please visit www.neogene.com, and follow @Neogene Therapeutics on LinkedIn.