MILANO (Italy) / NEW YORK (NY, USA) -- Genenta Science, a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of hematopoietic stem cell gene therapies for cancer (Temferon™), today announced the closing of its third Round adding €13,2M in a total of €30,2M since incorporation. Two Phase I/II clinical trials are currently ongoing in two different indications, early relapse Multiple Myeloma - a hematologic disorder, and newly diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme - a solid tumor.
The Round was led by Qianzhan Investment Management (QZ) and Fidim.
QZ is a Chinese private investment company based in Shanghai operating in futures trading, stock trading, and private equity investments. Currently, QZ has allocated $720M to private equity and venture capital in tech and life sciences, investing in China, US and Europe. QZ was one of the first and is currently an investor in Tencent Music (NYSE: TME). QZ is also an investor in Wuhan Hiteck (300683.SZ), Capella Therapeutics (San Diego, CA), Denovo Biopharma (San Diego, CA), among others.
Fidim is the holding company of the Rovati family, the former owner of Rottapharm, a pharma company whose commercial activity was acquired by Meda for shares and equity value of €2.2B. Fidim retained the R&D operations as Rottapharm Biotech. In 2016, Meda was acquired by Mylan (NASDAQ: MYL).
Both QZ and Fidim will be Observers in Genenta’s Board of Directors. QZ will be represented by Jing “Akira” Liu, MD, in charge of QZ’s biotech venture capital investments and Fidim will be represented by Lucio Rovati, MD, the CEO and CSO of Rottapharm Biotech.
Bormioli and Fumagalli families, and part of the Investors of the previous two Rounds (including “Club degli Investitori”, a business angel network) were among the other investors of the current Round.
Bormioli was an early investor in Advanced Accelerator Applications, a biotech company listed on NASDAQ
and then acquired by Novartis (NYSE: NVS) for $3.9B.
Fumagalli is the former owner of Candy, a company acquired for $547M by the Chinese electronics giant Haier Group.
The Investors of the first Round were supported by Mediobanca (BIT: MB) as advisor.
ELITE, the international platform of the London Stock Exchange Group, supported d the current Round of the capital raise.
“Filing for regulatory approvals, product’s manufacturing, and initiating two clinical trials prior to the current Round is a remarkable achievement in large part due to an experienced team in developing gene therapy products”, said Pierluigi Paracchi, Chairman&CEO and Co-founder. “Genenta is growing in a favorable environment that puts together great scientists and qualified physicians. From the beginning, we decided to leverage on SR-TIGET previous successful experience in bringing gene therapies for rare diseases to the clinic and to the market, and to take all the steps ourselves up to First in Human. Retaining full control of the project, we could best steer towards our goal and create the greatest amount of value possible ahead of licensing out, M&A or IPO”.
“Genenta is developing a highly innovative first-of-its-kind platform of targeted delivery of immune activating interferon to the tumor microenvironment by genetically engineered hematopoietic cells. Since its launch, Genenta was able to effectively meet the challenges raised by this new approach and quickly reach the stage of first clinical testing also by leveraging on the successful experience of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-TIGET), which has pioneered several novel gene therapies for rare diseases and has treated >100 patients in the past decade”, said prof. Luigi Naldini, SR-TIGET Director and Genenta’s Cofounder.
“Genenta has two initial tumor targets, one solid and one hematopoietic: Glioblastoma Multiforme and Multiple Myeloma”, Carlo Russo, MD Genenta’s CMO added. “The results from the preclinical analysis showed that the drug product’s activity in those tumors could have the best therapeutic index and risk-benefit profile for First in Human testing. The initial major goal is to demonstrate the safety of our therapeutic approach once deployed in the clinic, following by the safety and efficacy response to dose-escalating. Measurements of efficacy will include biological markers, evidence of induced immune activation within the tumor microenvironment and ultimately in disease progression”.
About Genenta Science
Genenta (www.genenta.com) develops an ex-vivo gene transfer strategy into autologous hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) to delivery immunomodulatory molecules directly via tumor-infiltrating monocytes/macrophages (Tie2 Expressing Monocytes - TEMs). Genenta’s proprietary product is Temferon™.
The targeted expression of the immunomodulatory molecule in TEMs is achieved combining a transcriptional and post-transcriptional microRNA-mediated control. Thanks to these mechanisms, TEMs become capable to express the immunomodulatory molecule (Interferon-alpha, “IFN-α”) in the tumor microenvironment. TEMs are endowed with a pro-angiogenic activity and are spontaneously and actively recruited by developing tumors to sustain their growth. Thanks to the immune-gene transfer, TEMs become the tool for the local delivery of the immunomodulatory molecule. In the preclinical models, the local IFN-α release triggered both a direct (anti-angiogenic, pro-apopototic) and an indirect anti-tumor effect (immune response).In contrast to antigen-restricted Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR-T), Temferon™ may reach not only hematologic disorders but more importantly, also solid tumors. In addition, its immune-modulatory functions
may trigger a long-lasting immune response towards multiple tumor antigens. As a result, Temferon™ should be able to break the tumor immune-tolerance by reprogramming the tumor
Genenta obtained the regulatory approvals for two Phase I/II clinical trials in early relapse Multiple Myeloma patients after front line therapy and newly diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme patients. Genenta’s headquarter is in Milano (Italy) and Genenta has an office in Alexandria Center’s LaunchLabs, New York (NY, USA). The Company is part of Assobiotec, Italia StartUp, and ELITE (London Stock Exchange Group).
Co-founders: Pierluigi Paracchi, Ospedale San Raffaele (OSR), prof. Luigi Naldini (Director SR-TIGET, San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy), and Bernhard Gentner (Hematologist and Physician-Scientist at OSR and SR-TIGET).
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