RARE Daily

Scenic Biotech Raises $31 Million to Advance Pipeline of Genetic Modifiers in Cancer and Rare Diseases

March 10, 2022

Netherlands-based Scenic Biotech, a company focused on the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, has closed a series A financing of about $31 million (€28 million).

Photo: Oscar Izeboud, CEO of Scenic Biotech

European investors Eir Ventures, BioMedPartners, and Vesalius Biocapital led the financing, with participation by existing investors Inkef Capital, BioGeneration Ventures, and Oxford Science Enterprises, together with Scenic’s founders and management.

Scenic will use the funds to accelerate its 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.

Scenic Biotech is focused on identifying genetic modifiers, a completely new class of disease targets, for drug intervention. Also known as disease suppressors, genetic modifiers are genes that act to suppress or completely block the effect of a disease-causing mutated gene.

The company’s lead small molecule immuno-oncology program will now advance 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, 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.

“We have made very significant progress since our seed investment, proving the value of our platform, extending its utility, and expanding our team,” said Oscar Izeboud, CEO of Scenic Biotech. “We look forward to continuing our growth and delivering on our promise to develop novel treatments to improve patients’ lives.”

Following the series A investment, Stephan Christgau, general partner at Eir Ventures, Michael Wacker, general partner at BioMedPartners, and Stephane Verdood, managing partner at Vesalius Biocapital, will join Scenic’s board of directors.

Scenic anticipates more than doubling its team in the coming 18 months including building its clinical capabilities.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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