Gotham Therapeutics Launches with $54 Million Series A


Versant-seeded company translating insights about RNA-modifying
protein targets into drug candidates

, a biotechnology company developing a novel drug class
targeting RNA-modifying proteins, debuted today with a $54 million
Series A financing co-led by founding investor Versant Ventures, Forbion
and S.R. One. The syndicate also included Celgene Corporation and
Alexandria Venture Investments. Gotham is part of New York’s rapidly
growing biopharma community with a subsidiary at one of Europe’s leading
life science clusters near Munich, Germany.

Versant created and seeded Gotham based upon the seminal discoveries of
co-founder Samie Jaffrey, M.D. Ph.D., a pioneer in an exciting new field
within RNA metabolism called epitranscriptomics. Dr. Jaffrey is a
professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medicine and a member of the
Scientific Advisory Board for Gotham Therapeutics. His work has shed
light on the role of post-transcriptional mRNA modifications in health
and disease. These modifications and their biological effects are driven
by protein complexes commonly described and categorized as writers,
erasers and readers of the epitranscriptomic code.

With its seed funding, Gotham built a platform to assess the impact of
RNA-modifying proteins on disease biology and developed small molecules
against priority targets. The Series A proceeds will allow Gotham to
establish clinical proof of concept and to invest broadly in a pipeline
of preclinical candidates that have potential to treat diseases
intractable to classical approaches.

As we pursue several important targets, the information we glean will
help us further validate and build our platform for increasingly broad
applications. Our goal is to become the leader in drugging key proteins
that modulate mRNA functionality, thereby impacting disease onset and
progression,” said Lee Babiss, Ph.D., CEO of Gotham.

While academic research and the pharmaceutical industry focused
initially on modifications of DNA, a growing body of evidence indicates
that mRNA modifications help determine to which degree genes are
translated into proteins. RNA modifications and their associated protein
complexes therefore represent an untapped frontier that could yield new
therapeutic approaches,” added Dr. Jaffrey.

Gotham has assembled an experienced founding team led by Dr. Babiss,
former President of Pharma Research at Roche. Dr. Babiss is an early
adopter of RNA drug discovery approaches who has a track record of
translating discoveries into therapeutic candidates. He also has served
as CSO of PPD, and as Head of Human Genetics and Personalized Healthcare
at Glaxo Wellcome.

After following the developments in the RNA drug discovery field for a
number of years, we felt this was the right time to build a company that
could capitalize on translating the scientific discoveries into a whole
new class of drug candidates,” said Carlo Rizzuto, Ph.D., Partner at
Versant. “With our initial investment, the Gotham team constructed a
platform able to validate critical links between specific types of RNA
modifications and disease biology. We look forward to advancing a number
of drug candidates with this new round of financing.”

We are excited to invest in Gotham, one of the pioneers in the
fast-emerging field of RNA metabolism, which could create a paradigm
shift in both cancer therapy and other major diseases,” commented Holger
Reithinger, Ph.D., General Partner at Forbion. “Gotham represents the
first investment by our recently announced Forbion IV fund. Our new fund
aims to help build leading companies around exciting new science, proven
teams or in-licensed assets.”

Dr. Reithinger will join Dr. Babiss, Dr. Rizzuto and Jill Carroll,
Principal, SR One, on Gotham’s Board of Directors. Jorge DiMartino M.D.,
Ph.D., Vice President, Translational Development Oncology at Celgene and
Head of Celgene’s Epigenetics Thematic Center of Excellence, has joined
the board in an observer role.

About Gotham Therapeutics:
Gotham Therapeutics has assembled
an exceptional team and network to establish a novel drug class
targeting RNA-modifying proteins. By changing the activity of proteins
that modify messenger RNA, we aim to develop new treatment options for
patients suffering from cancers, auto-immune and neurodegenerative
diseases. We are applying a 360-degree approach to small molecule drug
design to build a pipeline based on the promise of this rapidly emerging
biopharmaceutical field. For more information, please visit: www.gothamtx.com

About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading
healthcare investment firm committed to helping exceptional
entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm’s
emphasis is on biotechnology companies that are discovering and
developing novel therapeutics. With $2.4 billion under management and
offices in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Versant has built a team with
deep investment, operating and clinical expertise that enables a
hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm’s founding in
1999, more than 70 Versant companies have achieved successful
acquisitions or IPOs. For more information, please visit www.versantventures.com.

About Forbion
Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture
capital firm with offices in The Netherlands and Germany. Forbion
invests in life sciences companies that are active in the (bio-)
pharmaceutical space. Forbion’s investment team has built an impressive
performance track record since the late nineties with successful
investments in over 50 companies. Forbion manages well over
EUR 1 billion across ten funds. Forbion is a signatory to the United
Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Besides financial
objectives, Forbion selects investments that will positively affect
health and well-being of patients. Its investors include the EIF,
through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA, Dutch Venture
Initiative (DVI) facilities and AMUF facilities and the KFW through the
ERP – Venture Capital Fondsfinanzierung facility. Forbion operates a
joint venture with BGV, the manager of seed and early stage funds
focused on Benelux and Germany. For more information, please visit: www.forbion.com.

About SR One
SR One is the corporate venture capital arm of
GlaxoSmithKline. The firm invests globally in emerging life science
companies pursuing innovative science to significantly impact medical
care. SR One’s team of investment professionals, located in the US and
UK, have experience spanning basic science, drug development and
commercialization. We take an active role in our portfolio companies and
work with management teams and our fellow venture investors to create
significant value. In its 30+ year history, SR One has invested >$1.1
billion in more than 180 companies, and its current portfolio includes
40+ private and public investments. For more information, please visit: http://www.srone.com/

About Celgene
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit,
New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged
primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of
innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory
diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis,
immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation. For
more information, please visit: http://www.celgene.com/

About Alexandria Venture Investments
Alexandria Venture
Investments, founded in 1996, is the strategic venture capital arm of
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Alexandria Venture Investments
focuses on novel, breakthrough discoveries in biopharma, diagnostics,
research tools, agtech and technology. Based on its experience and
in-depth understanding of the life science and technology industries,
its long-term relationships with leading investors and its world-class
international scientific advisory network, Alexandria Venture
Investments is uniquely positioned to fund seed-, early- and
growth-stage companies. For more information, please visit: http://www.are.com/


Gotham Therapeutics:
Dr. Birgit Zech, +49 179 5340884
Operating Officer

MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Brkulj, +49 175 5711562
Houlihan, +1 781-235-3060


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