PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in the life sciences, today announced that the firm led Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics, Inc’s [28-7] Series A extension with a $15 million investment. In addition to Sofinnova Partners, Osage University Partners (OUP) participated in the Series A extension bringing the total Series A financing to $82.75 million. Sofinnova Partners and OUP join the initial 28-7 investors that include MPM Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Vertex Ventures HC, Longwood Fund and Astellas Venture Management.
“Sofinnova Partners is known for being a company-builder, with a strong focus on teams and science. With Sofinnova’s participation, we are able to work on proteins that regulate additional classes of RNA, including mRNA, as well as to leverage the programs into indications outside of oncology”
“Sofinnova Partners views 28-7 as the clear leader in capitalizing on the emerging science around RNA biology and how its dysregulation contributes to many serious diseases such as cancer,” said Henrijette Richter, Ph.D., Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “We were captivated by the Company with its strong team of serial entrepreneurs possessing an incredible track record of successes, an exceptional group of academic founders, and the impressive scientific data and drug discovery progress around their lead RNA-focused program. They are developing game-changing therapeutics to treat cancers with high unmet need. We are therefore thrilled to be joining 28-7 early in the Company’s progress and to be investing in their exciting pipeline.” Dr. Richter will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
Since the close of the initial $65M Series A announced in September 2018, 28-7 has moved into its new facilities in Watertown, MA. Kazumi Shiosaki, Ph.D., CEO of 28-7, noted that the additional investment by Sofinnova Partners allows the Company to accelerate its current programs, build out its technology platform and expand into additional opportunities. “Sofinnova Partners is known for being a company-builder, with a strong focus on teams and science. With Sofinnova’s participation, we are able to work on proteins that regulate additional classes of RNA, including mRNA, as well as to leverage the programs into indications outside of oncology,” said Dr. Shiosaki.
28-7’s technology does not directly target small-molecules to the RNA itself but rather targets RNA-modulating proteins (RMPs). The lead program focuses on regulating levels of let-7, an important micro RNA (miRNA) that suppresses the translation of major oncogenes, whose levels can be disrupted by a protein called LIN28. In certain cancers, LIN28 is re-expressed and its binding of the let-7 precursor prevents the production of mature let-7 needed to maintain oncogene suppression. The Company’s lead program is developing small molecules that prevent the binding of let-7 precursor to LIN28 and restore the beneficial levels of mature let-7.
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 U.S. 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 spinoffs 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: http://sofinnovapartners.com/.
About Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics
Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the modulation of RNA to treat cancer and other human diseases. Targeting RNA modulating proteins (RMPs), the company can use small molecules to control the expression levels of oncogenes and other proteins of significance. The company’s core technology comes from its four founding scientists, all leading researchers in RNA biology and cancer. www.twentyeight-seven.com