Novo A/S and Sofinnova Partners are leading this latest financing round
NEW YORK, New York ― June 15, 2016 ― Rgenix, a cancer therapeutics company developing first-in-class drugs targeting novel cancer pathways, announced a $33 million Series B financing led by Novo A/S and Sofinnova Partners, with participation from existing investors including Partnership Fund for New York City, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Conegliano Ventures LP. The financing will support clinical development of Rgenix’s lead drug candidates, RGX-104 and RGX-202, as well as further development of its therapeutics pipeline.
“We are thrilled to have attracted top-tier investors to advance development of our novel cancer therapeutics,” said Masoud Tavazoie, M.D. Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Rgenix. “This financing validates the potential of our lead immunotherapy RGX-104, which will be entering clinical trials this fall, and also demonstrates the strength of our discovery platform, developed in the laboratory of Rgenix co-founder Dr. Sohail Tavazoie at The Rockefeller University. The funding will enable our team to deliver an innovative therapy to cancer patients while simultaneously pushing forward our pipeline of other novel drug candidates.”
Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners, commented: “We are very excited to back such a high quality team at Rgenix. We also believe that RGX-104 could revolutionize treatment to cancer patients that today lack effective therapies.”
Despite recent advances in cancer therapy, most patients will eventually succumb to their disease due to drug resistance and immune evasion. RGX-104 is a small molecule that reverses immune evasion and drug resistance by targeting immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment via a novel pathway, resulting in strong anti-tumor activity in several drug-resistant cancer types in pre-clinical models, both as a single agent and in combination with approved immunotherapies such as PD-1 inhibitors. The target of RGX-104 was discovered using Rgenix’s miRNA platform that has yielded several new cancer targets across multiple prevalent cancer types.
“We are excited to support Rgenix’s novel approach to treating cancers of high unmet need,” said Nilesh Kumar, Senior Principal of Novo Ventures*. “Rgenix has an exciting platform founded on strong science from The Rockefeller University; the lead program is a first in class opportunity addressing a key mechanism in tumor immunosuppression in various cancer types.”
In connection with the financing, Nilesh Kumar of Novo Ventures and Antoine Papiernik of Sofinnova Partners will join the Rgenix Board of Directors together with existing members, including Executive Chairman Eric Rowinsky, M.D., Masoud Tavazoie, M.D. Ph.D., Nancy Chang, Ph.D., and Saeed Tavazoie, Ph.D.
Rgenix is a privately-held cancer therapeutics company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs that target key pathways in cancer progression. Using a miRNA based target discovery platform developed by Rgenix scientific co-founders at The Rockefeller University, the company is developing several first-in-class drug candidates to treat cancers of high unmet need. The company brings together distinguished scientific founders and a leadership team with a seasoned Board comprised of experienced drug developers. The company is funded by leading biotechnology investors, including Novo A/S, Sofinnova Partners, and Alexandria Venture Investments. For more information, please visit www.rgenix.com.
About Novo A/S
Novo A/S, a private Danish limited liability company fully owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, is the holding company in the Novo Group, a family of independent companies wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Novo A/S is responsible for managing the Foundation’s assets, which are currently valued at more than $53 billion.
Besides being the major shareholder in the Novo Group companies, Novo A/S provides seed and venture capital to development stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies within life science, as well as manages a broad portfolio of financial assets. Their teams of scientific and commercial experts actively support their portfolio of projects and companies, and manage a range of financial investments. For further information, visit www.novo.dk.
* Novo Ventures (US) Inc. is a separate legal entity that provides consultancy services to Novo A/S, mainly within the areas of identifying, analyzing and negotiating various investment opportunities among life science and biotech companies in the US as well as certain follow-up activities related thereto, such as board memberships, financial control and reporting efforts.
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.