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HEALTHCARE | Drug Discovery
jecuretx.com

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Founded Year

2016

Stage

Acquired | Acquired

Total Raised

$20M

About Jecure Therapeutics

Jecure Therapeutics focuses on the discovery of therapeutics for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis.

Jecure Therapeutics Headquarter Location

4757 Nexus Center Drive Suite 150

San Diego, California, 92121,

United States

(619) 541-8699

Latest Jecure Therapeutics News

After selling to Genentech, the old Jecure team is back at an RNA-focused startup — and more enthusiastic than ever

Sep 21, 2021

Nicole DeFeudis Editor When Genen­tech swooped in to buy NASH-fo­cused Je­cure Ther­a­peu­tics back in 2018, a hand­ful of the start­up’s ex­ec­u­tives weren’t quite ready to dis­perse. It had been just three years since Je­cure launched with a pre­clin­i­cal port­fo­lio of NL­RP3 in­hibitors — and the takeover came soon­er than any­one, in­clud­ing CEO Jeff Stafford, had ex­pect­ed. So he got talk­ing with James Veal and Gretchen Bain, two se­r­i­al en­tre­pre­neurs in charge of Je­cure’s R&D. “We want­ed to do some­thing to­geth­er again,” Stafford told End­points News. “All of us share a high en­thu­si­asm for ear­ly stage drug dis­cov­ery, and had some ideas.” Jeff Stafford A year lat­er, they launched 858 Ther­a­peu­tics — named af­ter the San Diego area code — to fo­cus on the bur­geon­ing field of RNA mod­u­la­tion and the role it plays in can­cer. Right away, they snapped up Gotham Ther­a­peu­tics, a New York-based start­up that was cre­at­ing med­i­cines to drug key pro­teins that mod­u­late mR­NA, for an undis­closed amount. And on Tues­day, they emerged from stealth mode with a $60 mil­lion Se­ries A round led by Ver­sant Ven­tures. NEA, Cor­morant As­set Man­age­ment and Lo­gos Cap­i­tal chipped in­to the round. “We just found that space to be in­cred­i­bly dy­nam­ic where there have been, over the last few years, just a whole host of break­through dis­cov­er­ies,” Ver­sant part­ner Car­lo Riz­zu­to said. Car­lo Riz­zu­to While the in­dus­try was ini­tial­ly laser-fo­cused on mod­i­fy­ing DNA, ev­i­dence be­gan pil­ing up years ago that RNA mod­i­fi­ca­tions could help de­ter­mine to which de­gree genes are trans­lat­ed in­to pro­teins. The mod­i­fi­ca­tions play a big role in some can­cers — but un­til re­cent­ly, sci­en­tists have strug­gled to ad­dress those tar­gets due to a dearth of as­says and chal­lenges in cre­at­ing chem­i­cal mat­ter with drug-like prop­er­ties, Stafford said. 858’s plat­form re­volves around “spe­cial­ized know-how and spe­cial­ized as­says,” ac­cord­ing to Stafford. The Se­ries A mon­ey should be enough to get the team in­to the clin­ic by 2023 — but the CEO was care­ful not to dis­close the team’s tar­gets just yet. He says the com­pa­ny should be able to tack­le three to five pro­grams at a giv­en time. Veal and Bain are on board as CSO and VP of bi­ol­o­gy, re­spec­tive­ly — the same roles they held at Je­cure. All three ex­ecs have ex­pe­ri­ence at Ver­sant-backed biotechs, in­clud­ing Quan­ti­cel and Ami­ra Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, which were bought by Cel­gene and Bris­tol My­ers Squibb, re­spec­tive­ly. Stafford says he’s look­ing to ex­pand the 25-per­son team to 40 in the next 18 months, with head­quar­ters in San Diego and op­er­a­tions in New York. “(It’s) I think very rare in this busi­ness to get to work with the same team over mul­ti­ple suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies,” Riz­zu­to said. “There are not many, you know, three-times suc­cess­ful teams that are do­ing their fourth com­pa­ny and so I think that’s a very clear point of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion.” AUTHOR Nicole DeFeudis Editor The biotech industry has faced repeated calls to diversify its workforce — and in the last year, those calls got a lot louder. Though women account for just under half of all biotech employees around the world, they occupy very few places in C-suites, and even fewer make it to the helm. Some companies are listening, according to a recent BIO survey which showed that this year’s companies were 2.5 times more likely to have a diversity and inclusion program compared to last year’s sample. But we still have a long way to go. Women represent just 31% of biotech executives, BIO reported. And those numbers are even more stark for women of color. Read More September 20, 2021 07:55 AM EDT Zachary Brennan Senior Editor In the exceedingly rare instances in which clinical efficacy is the only barrier to a new drug’s approval, new FDA-funded research from FDA and Stanford found that the agency does not have a consistent standard for defining “substantial evidence” when flexible criteria are used for an approval. The research comes as the FDA is at a crossroads with its expedited-review pathways. The accelerated approval pathway is under fire as the agency recently signed off on a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug, with little precedent to explain its decision. Meanwhile, top officials like Rick Pazdur have called for a major push to simplify and clarify all of the various expedited pathways, which have grown to be must-haves for sponsors of nearly every newly approved drug. Read More September 20, 2021 01:15 PM EDTUpdated 02:06 PM Editor & Founder It’s taken 7 years, but Eli Lilly is promising to finally start hammering the small and affluent PD-(L)1 club with a “disruptive” pricing strategy for their checkpoint therapy allied with China’s Innovent. Lilly in-licensed global rights to sintilimab a year ago, building on the China alliance they have with Innovent. That cost the pharma giant $200 million in cash upfront, which they plan to capitalize on now with a long-awaited plan to bust up the high-price market in lung cancer and other cancers that have created a market worth tens of billions of dollars. Premium subscription required AstraZeneca is planning to spend a pretty penny for a new manufacturing facility in Dublin. The Big Pharma will shell out $360 million to build an API plant for small molecules at its Alexion campus in College Park, Dublin, it announced Tuesday morning. AstraZeneca said the focus of the facility will be late-stage development and early commercial supply for small molecule therapies. “The future manufacturing of APIs for our medicines includes compounds with highly complex synthesis, requiring next generation technologies and capabilities that can respond quickly and nimbly to rapidly-changing clinical and commercial needs,” AstraZeneca global ops chief Pam Cheng said in a statement. “This significant investment will ensure the AstraZeneca supply network is fit for the future.” Read More John Carroll Editor & Founder Right about a year ago, a Novartis team led by Jay Bradner and Cynthia Grosskreutz at NIBR swooped in to scoop up a Cambridge, MA-based opthalmology gene therapy company called Vedere. Their focus was on a specific market niche: inherited retinal dystrophies that include a wide range of genetic retinal disorders marked by the loss of photoreceptor cells and progressive vision loss. But that was just the first deal that whet their appetite. Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription Unlock this story instantly and join 117,700+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free. SIGN UP For a first-time fund, Jeito Capital talks a lot about continuity. Rafaèle Tordjman had spotlighted that concept ever since she started building the firm in 2018, promising to go the extra mile(s) with biotech entrepreneurs while pushing them to reach patients faster. Coincidentally, the lack of continuity was one of the sore spots listed in a report about the European healthcare sector published that same year by the European Investment Bank — whose fund is one of the LPs, alongside the American pension fund Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Singapore’s Temasek, to help Jeito close its first fund at $630 million (€534 million). As previously reported, Sanofi had chimed in €50 million, marking its first investment in a French life sciences fund. Read More

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