Deal validates Jeito’s unique investment model of selecting high-quality assets developed by world-leading teams in therapeutic areas with high unmet need
Paris, France, November 29th 2022 – Jeito Capital (“Jeito”), the largest fully independent international private equity firm dedicated to healthcare and biopharma, is pleased to announce the realization of its investment in Neogene Therapeutics, Inc. (“Neogene Therapeutics” or “Neogene”) to AstraZeneca a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company. Neogene is a global clinical-stage company pioneering the discovery, development, and manufacturing of next-generation T cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts). Jeito co-led Neogene’s $110 million Series A financing marking the first investment since the launch of the fund.
Under the terms of the transaction, AstraZeneca will acquire all outstanding shares of Neogene for a total consideration of up to $320 million, on a cash and debt free basis. This will include an initial payment of $200 million on deal closing, and a further up to $120 million in both contingent, milestones-based and non-contingent considerations.
Since Jeito’s investment, Neogene has become a clinical stage company, and expanded both its pipeline of next-generation TCR-Ts and its manufacturing capabilities.
Dr Rafaèle Tordjman, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO of Jeito Capital, commented : “This exit, Jeito’s first, represents a strong validation of our strategy of sourcing high-quality innovation in biopharma and supporting strong leadership teams as they identify the fastest route to bring much needed therapies to patients. This deal also illustrates the growing pharma demand for breakthrough innovation and by working with AstraZeneca, a global leader in oncology, we have every confidence that Neogene will be able to transform therapeutic options for people with hard-to-treat cancers. My congratulations go to everyone at Neogene on this fantastic achievement.”
Rachel Mears, Partner at Jeito, and Board Member of Neogene Therapeutics, added: “Over the course of our partnership, Neogene has successfully grown into a world-class cell therapy company, making key senior hires, expanding its pipeline of innovative TCR assets, and entering the clinic for the first time. Jeito has supported Neogene through key steps and the acquisition by AstraZeneca is a true demonstration that our approach combining deep scientific and industry expertise can create value for companies and in time, for patients as well.”
TCR-Ts are emerging as a promising therapeutic modality in cancer treatment. Most current cell therapy approaches in oncology focus on modifying the immune system’s T-cells to recognize proteins expressed on the surface of cancer cells. In contrast, TCR-Ts can recognize intracellular targets, including cancer-specific mutations, thereby potentially unlocking targets previously inaccessible using cell therapies.
Neogene was founded by Carsten Linnemann, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Neogene, and Ton Schumacher, PhD, Principal Investigator at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Oncode Institute in partnership with Two River, and cell therapy industry veteran Arie Belldegrun, MD, founder of Kite Pharma, Inc. and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. With Jeito’s support, Neogene expanded its senior leadership team in key business functions including manufacturing, operations, and clinical development.
Carsten Linnemann, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Neogene, said: “We are excited to work together with AstraZeneca towards our shared mission of transforming the treatment options for patients with solid tumours using next-generation T-cell receptor therapies. Our expertise, clinical portfolio and platform technologies in this area combined with AstraZeneca’s leadership in oncology and global footprint mean we are well-positioned to translate pioneering science into novel treatments for hard-to-treat cancers. Our thanks go to Jeito Capital and all of our investors for their guidance and support.”
AstraZeneca is building a cell therapy portfolio that aims to empower and equip the immune system’s T cells, to more effectively fight cancer. Their research teams are exploring new ways to target and arm CAR-Ts to increase their effectiveness in solid tumors and working to engineer off-the-shelf patient-ready therapies already developed from the cells of healthy donors.
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading Private Equity company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports managers 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 globally, especially in Europe and the United States. Jeito Capital has €534 million under management and a rapidly growing portfolio of investments. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States.
About Neogene Therapeutics
Neogene Therapeutics, Inc. is a global biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and manufacturing next-generation, transformative TCR therapies targeting neoantigens in solid cancers. Neogene is advancing a pipeline of fully individualized TCR therapies as well as TCR therapies targeting shared neoantigens, including mutated KRAS (mKRAS) and mutated TP53 (mTP53).
Neogene was founded by Carsten Linnemann, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Neogene, and Ton Schumacher, PhD, Principal Investigator at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Oncode Institute in partnership with Two River, and cell therapy industry veteran Arie Belldegrun, MD, founder of Kite Pharma, Inc. and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. as well as key investments from Vida Ventures, TPG, EcoR1 Capital, Jeito Capital, Syncona, Polaris Partners and Pontifax.
Neogene has EU headquarters in Amsterdam and U.S. headquarters in Santa Monica. Its team has deep gene and cell therapy expertise and a shared mission to bring next-generation transformative TCR therapies to patients with solid cancers worldwide.
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