Introducing a mammal-derived genome engineering enzyme for next-generation gene and cell therapy
Financing to fund SalioGen’s pipeline in genetic diseases, based on proprietary EDIT ‘gene coding’ platform to advance durable, safe and affordable non-viral gene therapies
Financing concurrent with strengthening of board of directors and scientific advisory board
BURLINGTON, Mass., March 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SalioGen Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company advancing Exact DNA Integration Technology (EDIT) for non-viral gene therapy, today announced that it has closed a $20 million Series A financing. The round was led by PBM Capital, a healthcare-focused investment firm, and included other undisclosed investors. Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the preclinical validation of the Company’s proprietary Exact DNA Integration Technology (EDIT) platform for the development of durable, safe and affordable in vivo gene therapies, including initial data in SalioGen’s lead programs in familial hypercholesterolemia and inherited macular degeneration. In conjunction with the financing, SalioGen has strengthened its Board of Directors and its Scientific Advisory Board.
“We are thrilled to introduce SalioGen and the EDIT genome engineering platform, backed by the confidence of investors with an excellent track record and enthusiasm for potential breakthrough technologies,” said Ray Tabibiazar, M.D., chief executive officer and chairman of SalioGen. “We believe that SalioGen has identified an evolved approach to gene therapy that, grounded by the only mammal-derived genome engineering enzyme and unconstrained by the limits seen to date in the gene therapy space, should empower us to develop safe, lasting and affordable non-viral gene therapies with the potential to cure genetic diseases unaddressed by current gene therapy and gene editing approaches. We are grateful not only to have the support of such esteemed investors, but also to have assembled such a prestigious group of directors, scientific advisors and collaborators.”
Paul B. Manning, chairman and CEO of PBM Capital, added, “Having supported the earliest iterations of gene therapy, we recognize the field’s immense inherent value, the areas where it has grown and where needed improvements remain. We believe that SalioGen’s EDIT platform represents a quantum leap forward in gene therapy technology that can improve the quality of therapy for individual patients while scaling it to reach potentially millions of patients in need.”
SalioGen has assembled a prestigious leadership team with collective experience in human gene therapy, medical genetics, lipid nanoparticles and cell therapy. Concurrent with the financing, Sean Stalfort, president of PBM Capital, will join SalioGen’s Board of Directors. The Board will also include:
- Dr. Tabibiazar, CEO and chairman of SalioGen
- Joseph J. Higgins, M.D., president and chief scientific officer of SalioGen (previously at UniQure)
- Suku Nagendran, M.D., president of R&D at Jaguar Gene Therapy (formerly the chief medical officer of Avexis)
The Company’s founding Scientific Advisory Board will be chaired by molecular biologist and geneticist Nancy L. Craig, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Other members of the founding Scientific Advisory Board include:
- Beverly Davidson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Strategy Officer at CHOP Research Institute;
- Thomas Quertermous, M.D., past chair of Stanford Cardiovascular Research, Stanford University School of Medicine;
- Ronald M. Krauss, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, past advisor to National Cholesterol Education Program, leadership roles with the American Heart Association;
- Ellis J. Neufeld, M.D., Ph.D. Physician‐in‐Chief of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; and
- Jesse B. Owens, Ph.D., University of Hawaii
BTIG, LLC acted as exclusive placement agent for the offering.
About Exact DNA Integration Technology (EDIT)
SalioGen is developing EDIT, a genome engineering technology based on the mammal-derived enzyme saliogase. With broad applicability, the capability to deliver gene cargo of any size and significant manufacturing advantages, EDIT has the potential to transform genetic medicine.
EDIT is used to simultaneously deliver an RNA sequence that encodes saliogase with a DNA sequence of any length to cells of interest via lipid nanoparticles. Together, the transiently expressed saliogase seamlessly integrates the supplied DNA into a precise, defined location in the recipient genome without the need for homologous recombination. SalioGen’s initial focus is on in vivo non-viral gene therapy, but EDIT also has the potential to streamline cell therapy, cell engineering, and biologics manufacturing to help an even broader population of patients in need.
About SalioGen Therapeutics
SalioGen Therapeutics is advancing the Exact DNA Integration Technology (EDIT) platform, the only genome engineering technology that is mammal-derived, for use in potentially curative non-viral gene therapy. SalioGen is initially focused on providing durable, safe and affordable non-viral gene therapy to more patients with inherited diseases that are beyond what is addressable with current gene therapies, beginning with inherited macular degeneration and familial hypercholesterolemia.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Words such as “may,” “believe,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and include statements regarding the use of the proceeds of the Series A financing, having identified an evolved approach to gene therapy that should empower SalioGen to develop safe, lasting and affordable non-viral gene therapies with the potential to cure genetic diseases unaddressed by current gene therapy and gene editing approaches, the contribution to be made by the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board and SalioGen’s EDIT platform representing a quantum leap forward in gene therapy technology that can improve the quality of therapy for individual patients while scaling it to reach potentially millions of patients in need. While SalioGen believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, the ability of SalioGen to use its evolved approach to gene therapy, grounded by the only mammal-derived genome engineering enzyme, to develop safe, lasting and affordable non-viral gene therapies with the potential to cure genetic diseases unaddressed by current gene therapy and gene editing approaches. All forward-looking statements are based on SalioGen’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, SalioGen expressly disclaims any responsibility to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Ray Tabibiazar, M.D.
Amy Jobe, Ph.D.