The Company Will Develop New Medicines to Selectively Potentiate and Expand Regulatory T Cells
CAMBRIDGE, MA. and SAN FRANCISCO, CA. September 14, 2016 – Delinia, a new company developing novel therapeutics that rebalance the immune system to treat serious and life-threatening autoimmune diseases, announced today that it has closed a $35 million Series A investment. The round was co-led by Sofinnova Partners and Atlas Venture. Delinia’s lead program is a targeted regulatory T cell (Treg) therapy, with the potential to selectively treat immune disorders without broadly suppressing a patient’s immune system. Delinia plans to use the capital raised through this financing to advance the lead program though clinical proof-of-concept.
“We are excited to advance what we believe is a new paradigm for the treatment of patients with severe autoimmune disease,” said Saurabh Saha MD PhD, President and CEO of Delinia and a Venture Partner with Atlas Venture. “Rarely does a company have the opportunity to develop a therapy with a unique combination of compelling biology, novel mechanism of action, and clinical validation of the target.” Prior to joining Delinia, Dr. Saha was Chief Medical Officer at Synlogic, and before that he was President, Chief Scientific Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors at BioMed Valley Discoveries. In addition to his broad experience in biotechnology, Dr. Saha was the global head of the New Indications Discovery Unit at Novartis, a position he took after his time at McKinsey & Company.
Delinia’s novel protein therapeutic platform is built on technology created by co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Jeffrey Greve PhD. This platform specifically targets, activates, and augments the levels of Tregs, a cell type that naturally exists in the body and whose role is to regulate the inflammatory response of other cells. Delinia’s approach aims to restore healthy immune regulation rather than broadly suppress the immune system. The currently available drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases cause broad immunosuppression that often leads to both short- and long-term toxicities.
Delinia has assembled a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of experts in the fields of immunology, Treg biology, and autoimmune disease. The SAB is Chaired by Delinia co-founder Michael Rosenblum MD PhD, who serves as Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the UCSF School of Medicine. The SAB also includes Abul Abbas MD, Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Chair of Pathology at the UCSF School of Medicine; Christophe Benoist MD PhD, Grove-Rasmussen Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Harvard Medical School; Jerome Ritz MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Executive Director of the Connell O’Reilly Cell Manipulation and Gene Transfer Laboratory; and David Wofsy MD, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology at the UCSF School of Medicine.
Delinia’s board of Directors is Chaired by Jeffrey Tong PhD, Entrepreneur in Residence at Third Rock Ventures. In addition, Henrijette Richter PhD, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, and David Grayzel MD, Partner at Atlas Venture are founding board members. The board will be joined by President and CEO Saurabh Saha MD PhD.
Delinia was founded to discover and develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Delinia’s lead program is a molecule that selectively potentiates and expands regulatory T cells (Tregs), the powerful immune cells that are critical to maintaining self-tolerance and immune system homeostasis. Delinia’s scientific founders and experienced executive leaders are working to advance the company’s initial programs to the clinic. Delinia is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts with research operations in San Francisco, California. To learn more, please visit www.deliniabio.com.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a biotech-focused, early-stage venture capital firm that creates and invests in life sciences startup companies in the U.S. Atlas is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 1993, Atlas has invested in over 150 early stage life sciences companies. For more information, visit www.atlasventure.com.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together 12 highly experienced investment professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a founding and lead investor in start-ups and corporate spin-offs, and has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 40 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.5 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnova.fr.