New York, US and Vienna, Austria, April 17, 2019 – HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (“HOOKIPA”), a company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics, targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform, today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 6,000,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $14.00 per share. In addition, HOOKIPA has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 900,000 additional shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The gross proceeds from the offering, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, are expected to be $84 million, excluding any exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.
HOOKIPA plans to use the offering proceeds to advance HB-101, its lead product candidate in infectious diseases for the prevention of cytomegalovirus infections, through completion of the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial, to advance HB-201 and HB-202, its lead oncology product candidates for cancers caused by human papilloma virus into and through completion of Phase 1 clinical trials, as well as to advance HB-301, its product candidate in metastatic, hormone-resistant prostate cancer into and through a Phase 1 clinical trial. Furthermore,
HOOKIPA intends to further progress its earlier pipeline projects and ongoing research and development activities as well as for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “HOOK” on Thursday, April 18, 2019. The offering is expected to close on April 23, 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.
BofA Merrill Lynch, SVB Leerink, and RBC Capital Markets are serving as joint book-running managers for the offering. Kempen is acting as a co-manager for the offering.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with, and declared effective by, the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 17, 2019. The offering of these shares is being made only by means of a prospectus. Copies of the final prospectus relating to this offering, when available, may be obtained from BofA Merrill Lynch, NC1-004- 03-43, 200 North College Street, 3rd Floor, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-294-1322; SVB Leerink LLC, Attention: Syndicate Department, One Federal Street, 37th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, by telephone at 1-800-808-7525, ext. 6132, or by email at email@example.com; or RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Attention: Equity Syndicate
Department, 200 Vesey Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10281, by telephone at 1-877-822- 4089 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any offer or sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics, targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform that is designed to reprogram the body’s immune system.
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– Company advances NT-0167 as first development candidate from a broad platform of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors –
– Appoints Don Nicholson as Board Chairman and Kevin Lee as Independent Director –
CAMBRIDGE, UK, BOSTON and SEATTLE – April 10th, 2019 – NodThera, a biotechnology company developing a new class of medicines that inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome to treat chronic inflammation, today announced that it has advanced its lead development candidate, NT-0167, into pre-IND testing as it prepares to advance to the clinic.
The company also announced that it has strengthened its Board of Directors with the addition of two industry leaders with deep experience of developing novel treatments targeting compelling new areas of biology. Don Nicholson, former Chief Executive Officer of Nimbus Therapeutics, has joined the Board as Chairman, and Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics, has joined as an Independent Director.
“The field of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors is expanding rapidly, with new insights highlighting the role of innate immunity in driving the chronic inflammation that is at the root of a wide range of serious diseases,” said Adam Keeney, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NodThera. “The progression of our first development candidate represents an important milestone as we advance rapidly toward the clinic. We are thrilled to welcome Don and Kevin to the Board and believe their strategic insights and deep experience in pioneering novel treatments across multiple disease areas will help us to build a truly transformational therapeutics company.”
NodThera is enhancing current understanding of innate immunity and the NLRP3 inflammasome’s role in chronic inflammation to develop a leading platform of small molecule therapeutics. The company has made significant progress over the past two years in shaping the second-generation chemistry platform that builds on the innovation of NT-0167.
Don Nicholson, Ph.D., joins the NodThera Board as Chairman after most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Nimbus Therapeutics. He previously spent 25 years at Merck, where he held strategic, leadership and operational roles across diverse therapeutic areas including inflammation, immunology and neuroscience. Dr. Nicholson began his career at Merck Frosst in Montreal as a Senior Research Biologist and held positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President and Site Head of the Merck Neurosciences Research site in San Diego, Vice President of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and Vice President and Worldwide Discovery Head for the Bone, Respiratory, Immunology and Endocrine franchise in New Jersey. Dr. Nicholson is also a member of the Board of Directors of Kymera Therapeutics and Generation Bio and serves as Chairman of the Board of Jnana Therapeutics.
“I am excited to join the Board of NodThera at a time of growing awareness about the therapeutic potential of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors and am impressed by the company’s tremendous progress in developing an approach capable of fully exploiting this opportunity,” said Dr. Nicholson.
“NodThera’s differentiated knowledge and expertise position the company to push the field into new
Kevin Lee, Ph.D., MBA, has served as Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics since 2015. He
previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Rare Disease Research
Unit at Pfizer, where he led more than 20 novel research and development programs and oversaw
strategy for rare diseases and gene therapy. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Lee worked at GlaxoSmithKline
(GSK), where he led epigenetics research and formed multiple strategic commercial and academic
partnerships. Earlier in his career, he lectured at Warwick University Medical School and founded
Cambridge Biotechnology (acquired by Biovitrum) and Neurosolutions.
NodThera is a biotechnology company developing a new class of potent and highly selective NLRP3
inflammasome inhibitors for the treatment of diseases driven by chronic inflammation. Led by an
experienced management team, NodThera is leveraging new insights into NLRP3 biochemistry to
build a platform of highly differentiated small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. The company’s investors
include Sofinnova Partners, 5AM Ventures, Epidarex Capital and F-Prime Capital Partners. NodThera
was founded in 2016 and maintains offices in Cambridge, UK, Seattle, WA and Boston, MA. For more
information please visit www.nodthera.com.
About NLRP3 inhibitors
The NLRP3 inflammasome regulates the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to
“danger signals,” including the presence of foreign or endogenous molecules that signal infection,
tissue damage or metabolic imbalances. Chronic inflammation driven by improper activation of the
NLRP3 inflammasome has been implicated in a wide array of diseases, including fibrotic,
autoinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as certain cancers. Small molecules that
selectively inhibit NLRP3 have well-understood potential to address improper activation and treat
chronic inflammation at the source, without broadly suppressing the immune system.
Colovac reduces number of diverting ostomies for patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer
Paris, France, April 3, 2019 – SafeHeal, a leading innovator in the field of digestive surgery, announces today that its unique Colovac bypass sheath has received the CE-mark.
Colovac is a unique endoluminal bypass sheath placed in the colon following colorectal resection. It suppresses the contact of fecal content with the colorectal anastomotic site in order to significantly improve patient recovery after colorectal surgery, without the need for an ostomy. It is seamless, minimally invasive and fully reversible. It can remain in place until the body’s natural healing and tissue repair processes are complete, which could be up to ten days. It is easily removed during an endoscopic procedure, avoiding a second surgical intervention.
With the CE mark, Safeheal brings a new alternative for patients undergoing colorectal surgeries, limiting the devastating impact of living with an artificial anus and associated comorbidities; enabling an earlier return to normal life.
At the end of 2018, SafeHeal concluded its successful first-in-human clinical study in fifteen patients, with results demonstrating that Colovac can successfully obviate the need for a diverting ostomy for the majority of patients undergoing colorectal surgery.
“Obtaining the CE mark is a significant achievement and an important milestone for SafeHeal. This clearly indicates that Colovac meets the essential requirements for product safety, performance and usability, in compliance with the latest rigorous requirements set by EU regulations,” said Karl Blohm, CEO of SafeHeal. ”We are now looking forward to further clinical validation, especially with the initiation of our FDA study.”
Every year about 270,000 colectomy patients in Europe and the US receive an ostomy; there is a considerable medical need and substantial market potential for devices such as Colovac.
About anastomotic leakage
Anastomotic leakage occurs in up to 20 per cent of patients undergoing anterior resection. It is considered to be the most serious colorectal surgical complication, frequently resulting in the rapid development of severe peritonitis, septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction. This leads to increased mortality rates. Diverting ostomy, the current standard of care today, applied prophylactically to most patients with a low anastomosis, regardless of their immediate post-operative course, has the objective of minimizing the sequelae of anastomotic leakage. It is a somewhat traumatic and aggressive process which significantly reduces the quality of life of patients and entails its own complications. The potential for Colovac is substantial in a multi-billion-dollar ostomy bags market. Due to the unmet clinical need, Colovac represents a breakthrough, leading to improved patient outcomes as well as reduced patient management costs for healthcare providers.
About the Colovac device
The Colovac device was invented by the French digestive surgeon, Charam Khosrovani, to avoid the need for a diverting ostomy in patients undergoing a colectomy. The device is a flexible bypass sheath intended to suppress the contact of fecal content with the colorectal anastomotic site, following colorectal surgery (open or laparoscopic). It is anchored above the anastomosis using a stent combined with an innovative vacuumbased mechanism. Colovac is seamless, minimally invasive and fully reversible. Once in place, the implant covers the colon down to the anus. It remains in place until the body’s natural healing and tissue repair processes are complete (approximately ten days), after which it is removed during an endoscopic procedure, without the need for a second surgical intervention. This enables patients to resume their normal life without having to bear an artificial anus and wear ostomy pouches for several months.
SafeHeal SAS, headquartered in Paris, France, is a clinical-stage medical device company established in 2015. It is focused on the development of anastomosis protection devices, including Colovac for colorectal surgery. The Colovac device received its CE mark in March 2019; it remains an investigational device in other regions. www.safeheal.com
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• Leading venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners led the Series A financing, together with New Enterprise Associates, which co-led the round
Basel, Switzerland, 28 March 2019 – Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG, a developer of a new class of biodegradable glycopolymers for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced the closing of an oversubscribed CHF22.5 million Series A financing. The round was led by Sofinnova Partners and co-led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with the participation of existing investors. The proceeds will be used to perform a first-in-man trial with the company’s lead product, PN-1007, a potential treatment for anti-MAG neuropathy, a rare nervous system disease. The proceeds will also be used to broaden its Antibody-Catch™ product portfolio by advancing three programs through preclinical development. Using the Antibody-Catch™ technology, Polyneuron designs injectable, biodegradable glycopolymers that are able to target and eliminate the pathological antibodies causing autoimmune diseases, while leaving the rest of the immune system intact.
“We value the support of all the investors in this significant Series A round and in particular, welcome investors Sofinnova Partners and NEA, both of whom have a proven track record in supporting emerging companies such as Polyneuron in developing novel products and technologies,” said Ruben Herrendorff, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Polyneuron. “This financing will allow us to advance our lead program PN-1007 through first-in-man proof of concept in anti-MAG neuropathy, a chronic debilitating neurological disorder where there is a great need to get new treatments to patients.”
In conjunction with the financing, Polyneuron has expanded its Board of Directors to include two new members Graziano Seghezzi of Sofinnova Partners, and David Mott of NEA.
Mr Seghezzi noted: “Polyneuron’s management team is a dynamic group of scientist-entrepreneurs made up of both young, up-and-comers, and highly experienced team members who we’ve backed successfully in the past. Further, Polyneuron has provided us an exceptional opportunity to invest early in a world class science that could be game changing for many patients suffering from autoimmune diseases.”
David Mott from NEA added: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to back Ruben and the Polyneuron team on this mission to develop better treatment options for patients suffering from anti-MAG neuropathies and other rare autoimmune diseases. Personally, I am also looking forward to working with Graziano and the Sofinnova team on another important biopharma project.”
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of 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 lead or cornerstone investor in seed, start-ups, corporate spin-offs and late stage companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.9 billion under management. For more information: www.sofinnova.fr.
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With more than $20 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm’s first fund closed in 1978, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 225 portfolio company IPOs and more than 375 acquisitions. www.nea.com.
About Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals
Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals is pioneering a novel therapeutic approach for the effective and safe treatment of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases of the nervous system where a pathological role of anti-carbohydrate autoantibodies is well established. The company’s Antibody-Catch™ technology platform enables the chemical design of injectable glycopolymers that are able to selectively eliminate the pathological autoantibodies, while leaving the rest of the immune system intact. Polyneuron was founded as a University of Basel, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, spin-off in 2014 by Dr. Ruben Herrendorff (CEO), Dr. Pascal Hänggi (CSO), Prof. Beat Ernst, an expert in carbohydrate-based drug discovery, and neurologist Prof. Dr. med. Andreas J. Steck, an expert in autoimmune disorders of the nervous system. The company is headquartered at the Stücki Park in Basel, Switzerland, and has been supported by the BaseLaunch Accelerator initiative. More information can be found at www.polyneuron.com.
Antibody-Catch™ is a platform technology developed by Polyneuron to facilitate the rational design of drugs that bind and eliminate disease-causing autoantibodies in autoimmune diseases. The drug candidates are chemically produced, biodegradable, high-molecular weight glycopolymers that offer multiple epitope-mimics to the autoantibodies. After injection, the drug serves as a decoy for the autoantibody, which then is sequestered and eliminated from the body. This highly specific treatment approach is fundamentally new and could potentially enable treatment options for previously incurable diseases. Polyneuron currently focuses on autoimmune diseases which involve autoantibodies against carbohydrate epitopes.
PN-1007 was designed to target the IgM autoantibodies that cause anti-MAG neuropathy, a disabling chronic disorder of the peripheral nervous system that has no approved treatment. PN-1007 mimics the natural HNK-1 carbohydrate epitope and binds to the circulating disease-causing antibodies. By eliminating these pathogenic antibodies, PN-1007 may protect the integrity of the neuronal myelin sheaths of anti-MAG patients. Polyneuron has obtained orphan drug designation from the European Medicines Agency for PN-1007 in anti-MAG neuropathy.
Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals Halsin Partners (media)
Dr. Ruben Herrendorff Mike Sinclair
+41 61 633 30 70 +44 20 318 2955
International: Rooney Partners France: STRATEGIES & IMAGE
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+1 212.223.0561 +33 6 03 35 92 05
Afyren and the SPI – Sociétés de Projets Industriels – industrial projects fund, managed by Bpifrance and financed by the French public “Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir” (Future Investments Program) and the European Investment Bank, are jointly investing 50 million euros in this industrial joint-venture. This first industrial subsidiary of Afyren will be focused on producing, using co-products from the sugar industry, organic acids that can be used in multiple applications, from cosmetics to flavors and fragrances, human and animal nutrition, and even fine chemicals. Based on the CHEMESIS platform in Carling Saint-Avold, in France’s Moselle region, this production unit will also benefit from private and public subsidies at local and regional level.
Clermont-Ferrand, March 14, 2019 – AFYREN, a producer of high-value bio-based building blocks with natural fermentation technologies, and Bpifrance, through its SPI industrial projects fund, have finalized theagreements for the creation of their joint subsidiary AFYREN NEOXY. This company, backed by nearly 50 million euros of capital, will house the first industrial unit based on the biomolecule production technology developed by AFYREN, which successfully completed a final pre-industrial phase in 2018, validating the efficiency of its non-GMO and zero-waste biological processes.
This agreement follows the 21 million euros of funds raised in January 2019, and is part of the 60 million euro global financing program, which will enable AFYREN to take its industrial project forward through to its market release. The SPI fund will invest 23 million euros for a 49% stake in AFYREN NEOXY, with AFYREN holding the remaining 51% of its capital.
The new plant will be based on the CHEMESIS platform in Carling-St Avold, in Moselle, on a 3-hectare site. It will notably benefit from industrial synergies with the platform’s major operators, among which Total Petrochemicals France. Based on co-products from the sugar industry, this unit will produce a range of seven organic acids with an initial annual capacity of 16,000 tons. This project will contribute to the region’s reindustrialization and the development of green chemicals with the CHEMESIS platform. It is expected to generate 60 new direct jobs by 2021. It is receiving financial support from Total Développement Régional, the Grand-Est region and the Saint-Avold Synergie metropolitan area.
For Magali Joëssel, Director of the SPI Fund at Bpifrance: “We are proud to partner with Afyren in the creation of this industrial joint-venture and to support it for the commercial development and marketing of its products. This project to reindustrialize a site with a groundbreaking green chemicals innovation clearly illustrates Bpifrance’s commitment to supporting employment through the structuring of an innovative field in the Energy and Environmental Transition Sector”.
Nicolas Sordet, AFYREN’s CEO: “Through this joint initiative with Bpifrance, we will be able to benefit from the financial resources needed to industrialize our technology and the confidence and trust of a major institution, which will be a key factor supporting our development. The choice of Carling-St Avold is strategic because it offers us not only a scalable site, but also a qualified workforce and a virtually endless supply of resources of raw materials nearby, while ensuring we are close to our clients. This will enable us to increase our production capacity very quickly to accompany the strong demand already expressed by our industrial partners”.
In order to meet the growing needs of industrial firms to reduce the use of petroleum-based derivatives across their production chains, AFYREN produces bio-molecules, derived from the recovery of non-food biomass, that are widely used in the cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, human and animal nutrition, and fine chemicals sectors. This renewable carbon production, aligned with the circular economy, is achieved using fermentation and downstream proprietary technologies, built up through seven years of research and development.
Founded in 2012 by Régis Nouaille and Jérémy Pessiot, AFYREN has 15 employees at its sites in Lyon and Clermont-Ferrand. AFYREN won the 2030 Worldwide Innovation Challenge in the “plant proteins and plant chemistry” category, and was a French Tech – Green Chemistry ambassador at COP21. AFYREN’s development is being supported by the Auvergne Regional Council, the Grand Est region, Bpifrance, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).
Nicolas Sordet, CEO
+33 4 73 86 91 84
Mathieu Calleux / Gregory Bosson
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About the SPI Industrial Projects Company fund
Managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French State as part of the PIA Future Investments Program, the purpose of this fund is to enable industrial projects with the best prospects for business and employment in industrial sectors to find support for their development. The fund acts as a prudent equity investor in project companies with industrialisation projects selected for their growth potential, the industry’s current position and their contribution to environmental and energy transition. It therefore constitutes one of the financial levers of the ‘New Industrial France’.
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extrafinancial services (training, consultancy…) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…).
For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and presse.bpifrance.fr
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Santa Clara, Calif. – March 11, 2019 – ShockWave Medical, Inc. (“ShockWave”) (Nasdaq: SWAV), today announced the closing of its initial public offering of 6,555,000 shares of its common stock at an initial public offering price of $17.00 per share, including 855,000 shares sold pursuant to the exercise in full of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. Including the option exercise, the aggregate gross proceeds to ShockWave from the offering, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses, were approximately $111.4 million. ShockWave’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “SWAV”.
Morgan Stanley and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as joint lead book-running managers for the offering. Wells Fargo Securities and Canaccord Genuity acted as co-managers for the offering. Parella Weinberg Partners acted as independent capital markets advisor to ShockWave for the offering.
Registration statements relating to these securities have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and became effective on March 6, 2019. The offering was made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the final prospectus may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10014; or BofA Merrill Lynch, NC1-004-03-43, 200 North College Street, 3rd Floor, Charlotte, North Carolina 28255‐0001, Attention: Prospectus Department, or by email at email@example.com.
In addition to the shares sold in the initial public offering, ShockWave also announced today the closing of its offering of an additional 588,235 shares of its common stock in a concurrent private placement at $17.00 per share to one of its existing investors, Abiomed, Inc., that exercised its option to purchase shares of common stock. This sale resulted in additional gross proceeds to ShockWave of approximately $10.0 million. The sale of these shares was not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification of these securities under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
About ShockWave Medical, Inc.
ShockWave Medical is a medical device company focused on developing and commercializing products intended to transform the way calcified cardiovascular disease is treated. ShockWave Medical aims to establish a new standard of care for medical device treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease through its differentiated and proprietary local delivery of sonic pressure waves for the treatment of calcified plaque.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding ShockWave’s current expectations. Words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “predict,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “intend” or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations are forward-looking statements.
These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, those described more fully in the section captioned “Risk Factors” in the final prospectus related to the public offering filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and ShockWave undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.
Dr. Geoff Smith and Dr. Robert Nicol join the newly created Advisory Board as the company gears up to commercialize its trailblazing enzymatic DNA synthesis technology.
Marco Island, Fla., February 27, 2019 – Here at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting, DNA Script, the global leader in the development of enzymatic DNA synthesis, today announced that it has successfully synthesized the world’s first 200-nucleotide (nt) strand of DNA by de novo enzymatic synthesis. This technological achievement builds on the company’s previous success with the enzymatic synthesis of both 50nt and 150nt strands of DNA.
To support DNA Script’s mission to commercialize the company’s enzymatic synthesis techniques and to support continued research and development, the company also today announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board with the appointment of two key advisers: Dr. Geoff Smith and Dr. Robert Nicol — with Dr. Smith serving as chair.
« Current chemical approaches are too limited to serve the growing demand for synthetic nucleic acids by the burgeoning life sciences industry. It’s no surprise that DNA Script is one of many organizations pursuing enzymatic synthesis, which has the potential to be faster, higher quality and cleaner than current commercial solutions done with the aid of phosphoramidite reagents, » said Thomas Ybert, CEO and cofounder of DNA Script. « Our success in achieving three successive length and purity milestones in less than a year is what sets apart DNA Script’s approach from the rest of the field. »
As the field of genomics accelerates, innovative genome editing technologies are driving advancements in life science research. The market for synthetic nucleic acids has expanded to over $1.5 billion per year globally, but the demand is not always met. For the past 50 years, synthetic DNA has been manufactured through a complex chemical process with limitations in terms of quality, turn-around time and manufacturing flexibility, with processes that are not environmentally sustainable. In contrast, DNA Script has developed a novel biochemical process for DNA and RNA synthesis based on the use of highly efficient enzymes. This technology mimics the way nature produces genetic code and enables enhanced performance while minimizing the use of harsh chemicals.
Dr. Geoff Smith joins DNA Script as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Smith is a world expert in genomic technologies and their applications. He spent more than 10 years working at Solexa/Illumina, where he led the development of many aspects of the core SBS sequencing chemistry, workflows and platforms, becoming Vice President leading technology development globally and clinical product development for cell-free DNA testing in pregnancy (NIPT). After leaving Illumina, Dr. Smith was CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix, a spin-off from Cambridge University, and he now works as an advisor to a broad portfolio of companies in the genomics space.
Dr. Robert Nicol joins DNA Script as Scientific Advisor. Dr. Nicol is director of the Technology Labs at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Under Dr. Nicol’s guidance, the Technology Labs serve as an advanced R&D group within the institute, integrating capabilities in molecular biology, bioengineering, synthetic biology, microfluidics, bioinformatics and industrial process design to meet the needs of the Broad community. Dr. Nicol is also cofounder of the MIT–Broad Foundry for Synthetic Biology. Robert joined the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research in 2001 to apply industrial process design to genome sequencing and directed the Sequencing Operations and Technology Development groups at the Broad for over 12 years, designing and implementing multiple generations of high-throughput DNA sequencing processes.
Dr. Ybert continued, « The creation of a Scientific Advisory Board is an important step in the transition from research stage to development and manufacturing stage. We are very pleased to have Geoff and Rob join us as advisors. Their extensive experience and proven track record will help us follow an aggressive roadmap to turn the company’s technology into successful commercial products. Our first goal is for our enzymatic process to surpass the performance of the current gold standard in DNA synthesis, the phosphoramidite method. Then, we want to leverage our proprietary biochemistry to take the enzymatic approach to the next level. Geoff and Rob are amongst the best experts in the world to help us do that. »
About DNA Script
Founded in 2014 in Paris, DNA Script is the world’s leading company in manufacturing de novo synthetic nucleic acids using an enzymatic technology. The company aims to accelerate innovation in life sciences and technology through rapid, affordable and high-quality DNA synthesis. DNA Script’s approach leverages billions of years of natural evolution to enable genome-scale synthesis. The company’s technology has the potential to greatly accelerate the development of new therapeutics, enhanced diagnostics, sustainable chemical production, improved crops and DNA data storage.
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Micropep Technologies, a deep tech startup specialized in plant biotechnologies, announces today the appointment of Kevin Smith as non-executive Chairman of its newly created Board of Directors. He will serve on the Board alongside 3 additional former CEOs from well-known plant biotechnology companies: Alain Godard, Eric Rey and Luc Mathis. Following the capital investment of 4 million euros by Sofinnova Partners and Irdi Soridec Gestion in March 2018, Micropep strengthened by 4 international experts has created the best possible conditions for success.
Kevin Smith, a 30 year veteran in international business, is nominated as Chairman of the Board
Created in 2016, Micropep Technologies is a deep tech plant biotechnology startup developing a new generation of crop stimulation and crop protection solutions based on a disruptive technology: “miPEP”, natural plant peptides transiently regulating gene expression.
The company today announces the appointment of Kevin Smith as non-executive Chairman of its newly formed Board of Directors. Kevin is a hands-on multicultural leader with a proven and strong track record in building highly profitable businesses by developing, communicating and aligning multicultural teams around a vision and executing profitable customer solutions growth strategies. Between 2008 and 2014, he led Arysta Lifescience European and EAM businesses as regional CEO, where he doubled profits while building Arysta’s global biologicals solutions portfolio. He is currently Senior Vice President at Houghton International, world number 1 in metalworking fluids. As a world-renowned expert with more than 30 years of experience in management and coaching of executive teams, his role is to fast-track the development of Micropep Technologies.
Kevin says: ‘I am thrilled to join Micropep’s new Board of Directors as non-executive chairman. My ambition is to help this highly innovative and ambitious startup to transform its disruptive and groundbreaking technology into a competitive portfolio of efficient solutions for agriculture. I am proud to offer my experience and leadership skills to support this unique company which lies at the crossroads between plant genetics and crop stimulation and protection solutions.’
Alain Godard, Eric Rey and Luc Mathis join Micropep’s first Board of Directors as independent members
Alongside Kevin’s nomination, the company appointed three other independent board members with incomparable hands-on experience in the Agricultural Biotechnology sector: Alain Godard, former CEO of Aventis CropScience (acquired by Bayer in 2002), Eric Rey, former CEO of Arcadia Bioscience (NASDAQ:RKDA) – a leading company of agricultural traits for heathier products -, and Luc Mathis, former CEO of Calyxt (NASDAQ:CLXT) – a leading company in gene editing for agriculture. Their complementary skills and experience in both plant genetics and crop protection as well as their significative international track-record will support Micropep’s ambition to quickly emerge as a global leading biotechnology company in the agricultural sector.
Micropep’s Board of Directors is further composed of Thomas Laurent, co-founder and CEO, and of the representatives of Sofinnova Partners (Denis Lucquin) and Irdi Soridec (Jean-Michel Petit), the two main investors.
“I am really excited by the broad and unique experience brought to Micropep by each of our board member. I feel lucky to be able to work with 4 former CEOs, each bringing their own set of expertise and skills to help us address all the challenges lying ahead of us. We are working hard on developing an ambitious and truly disruptive technology to help address one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: to develop a both productive and environmentally friendly agriculture, and I am convinced that our board members’ experience will help us progress faster towards this goal” comments Thomas Laurent, CEO of Micropep Technologies.
Kevin Smith has over 30 years of experience as managing director of several international companies and as independent consultant in agriculture and specialty chemicals. Formerly CEO of Arysta Lifescience in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, he is today Senior Vice President Houghton International and President EMEA Houghton.
Alain GODARD graduated from the Ecole Nationale Agronomique de Toulouse. He joined Rhône-Poulenc in 1975 where he held various management positions in France and other countries before becoming Managing in 1991, and finally CEO of Aventis CropScience which he left before its acquisition by Bayer in 2001.
Eric REY is the co-founder and former CEO of Arcadia Bioscience, an American company specialized in plant biotechnology, that he managed for 13 years until its IPO onto NASDAQ. Before that, Eric worked as VP of operation at Calgene (acquired by Monsanto) and then as a Partner at Rockridge Group. He brings over 35 years of experience in agricultural biotechnologies.
Luc MATHIS, is the former CEO of Calyxt, a company specialised in plant gene editing based in Minneapolis (US). Luc successfully ran the company for 5 years until 2016, preparing it for a successful IPO on the Nasdaq in 2017. He is, since 2017, Chief Business Officer of Global Bioenergies (Alternext – ALGBE), an industrial biotechnology company developing bio-based alternatives to petro-chemicals, through fermentation.
About Micropep Technologies
Created in 2016, Micropep Technologies develops a disruptive technology based on the discovery of a specific family of natural plant proteins that can transiently regulate gene expression in plant and improve all major plant development processes. Micropep’s ambition is to develop a new generation of crop stimulation and crop protection solution based on this technology to offer farmers a tangible alternative to agrochemicals.
For more information, go to: https://micro-pep.com/
Contacts OXYGEN – Aurélie Mauries / Aurélie Vérin – Tel : +33 (0)5 32 11 07 31 – firstname.lastname@example.org – @aureliemauries
New York, US and Vienna, Austria, February 26, 2019 – HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (“HOOKIPA”), a company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics, targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform, today announced that it has completed a $37.4 million (€33.2 million) series D financing.
The investment was led by Redmile Group with participation of additional new investors Invus and Samsara BioCapital, as well as a number of current investors.
The new funding will be primarily used to progress the clinical development of HOOKIPA’s lead development programs, HB-101, a prophylactic cytomegalovirus vaccine candidate, currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients awaiting kidney transplantation as well as HB-201 and HB-202, the Company’s lead oncology product candidates, in development for the treatment of human papillomavirus-positive cancers. In addition, HOOKIPA plans to apply its arenavirus platform to develop additional novel immuno-oncology product candidates.
Joern Aldag, Chief Executive Officer of HOOKIPA said: “We are pleased that this outstanding group of new and current investors supported this financing, which enables us to advance clinical development of our lead development programs. This financing also supports the potential and uniqueness of our novel technology platform and reinforces us in our mission to reprogram the immune system to combat infectious diseases and cancer”.
HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics, targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform that is designed to reprogram the body’s immune system.
HOOKIPA’s proprietary arenavirus-based technologies, VaxWave®*, a replication-deficient viral vector, and TheraT®*, a replication-attenuated viral vector, are designed to induce robust antigen specific CD8+ T cells and pathogen-neutralizing antibodies. Both, VaxWave® and TheraT®, are designed to allow for repeat administration while maintaining an immune response. TheraT® has the potential to induce CD8+ T cell response levels previously not achieved by other published immuno-therapy approaches. HOOKIPA’s “off-the-shelf” viral vectors target dendritic cells in vivo to activate the immune system.
HOOKIPA has successfully completed a Phase 1 trial of a VaxWave®-based prophylactic vaccine to protect against cytomegalovirus infection and has started dosing patients in a Phase 2 trial in cytomegalovirus-negative patients awaiting kidney transplantation from cytomegalovirus-positive donors. To expand its infectious disease portfolio, HOOKIPA has entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. to jointly research and develop functional cures for HIV and Hepatitis B infections. HOOKIPA is building a proprietary immuno-oncology pipeline by targeting virally mediated cancer antigens, self-antigens and next-generation antigens.
Find out more about HOOKIPA online at www.hookipapharma.com.
*Registered in Europe; Pending in the US.
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