New Haven, CT., May 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gennao Bio, a privately held genetic medicines company developing first-in-class, targeted nucleic acid therapeutics, today announced the closing of a $40 million Series A financing. The financing was co-led by OrbiMed and Logos Capital, with participation by Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company). Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the advancement of its proprietary, first-in-class gene monoclonal antibody platform (GMAB), exclusively licensed from Yale University, and the development of targeted nucleic acid therapeutic product candidates for the treatment of oncology and rare monogenic skeletal muscle diseases. Gennao Bio was co-founded in 2020 by Peter Glazer, M.D., Ph.D., Elias Quijano, M. Phil., Stephen Squinto, Ph.D. and Bruce Turner, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Squinto will serve as the Company’s newly appointed chief executive officer and chair of the board, effective immediately. Dr. Squinto is a life sciences industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record of building value at companies, including Passage Bio, SpringWorks Therapeutics, Alexion and Regeneron.
“I am thrilled to take-on the role of CEO and for the future of Gennao, which is poised to become a leader in genetic medicine,” said Dr. Squinto. “GMAB is the only platform technology that can deliver multiple classes of nucleic acids, allowing us to develop targeted, cell penetrating therapeutics for a wide-range of genetic diseases. We are pleased to have the support and trust of established biotech investors OrbiMed, Logos and Surveyor. The capital raised in this Series A round will enable us to accelerate our research and development efforts and expand our team.”
As part of the financing, Chau Q. Khuong, a partner on the private equity team at OrbiMed, has been appointed to Gennao Bio’s board of directors. Mr. Khuong brings significant experience in private and public company operations as well as business development. Mr. Khuong will serve alongside Dr. Turner, who joined the Company’s board in 2020.
Dr. Squinto will remain an executive partner at OrbiMed in addition to his role at Gennao Bio. Most recently, Dr. Squinto served as interim chief executive officer at Passage Bio, Inc., a genetic medicines company focused on developing therapies for rare, monogenic central nervous system disorders. Prior to that, he co-founded Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as its executive vice president and chief global operations officer. Prior to this role, he was Alexion’s global head of research and development. Earlier in his career, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work. Dr. Squinto received his B.A. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.
About Gennao Bio
Gennao Bio is a privately held genetic medicines company developing first-in-class targeted nucleic acid therapeutics utilizing a proprietary gene monoclonal antibody (GMAB) platform technology. GMAB is an adaptive technology that uses a novel, cell-penetrating antibody to non-covalently bind to and deliver therapeutic levels of a wide variety of nucleic acid payloads to select cells. This non-viral delivery platform is differentiated from traditional gene delivery systems as it can deliver multiple types of nucleic acids, allows for repeat dosing and employs well-established manufacturing processes. Gennao Bio is developing this delivery system with an initial focus on addressing significant unmet needs in oncology and rare monogenic skeletal muscle diseases.
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