July 1, 2020 – Scenic Biotech Appoints Oscar Izeboud as Chief Executive Officer
Scenic Biotech BV (“Scenic”), a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, today announced that Dr C. A. Oscar Izeboud has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Former acting CEO and scientific co-founder Dr Sebastian Nijman takes on the role of Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
Dr Izeboud brings over 20 years life science and finance industry experience to Scenic at a pivotal stage in the Company’s development as it expands the utility of its Cell-Seq high resolution genetics platform and transitions its early pipeline from discovery into development.
Prior to joining Scenic Dr Izeboud served as Managing Director at NIBC Bank N.V. in Amsterdam, where he led its corporate finance and capital markets team with a focus on innovation and growth companies. Previously, Dr Izeboud successfully developed the Life Sciences and Healthcare practice of Kempen & Co., a Dutch merchant bank. During his tenure at Kempen & Co. and NIBC Bank, Dr. Izeboud was instrumental in numerous public and private transactions in Europe and the USA. Prior to entering the banking industry, Dr. Izeboud served as the Director of Business Development at the biotechnology company, Crucell, which was later acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2011. In addition to his CEO role, he serves on the Board of Directors at Luciole Medical. Dr Izeboud received his Ph.D. in immunopharmacology from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Dr Ulrich Grau, Chairman of the Board of Scenic Biotech, commented:
“On behalf of the board and management I am delighted to welcome Oscar as Scenic’s new CEO. With his extensive experience and impressive achievements, he complements and strengthens the outstanding scientific acumen of the Scenic team allowing the company to play a pioneering role in identifying genetic modifiers as novel drug targets. Using its proprietary Cell-Seq platform the Company is now poised to progress its portfolio of programs in immuno-oncology and rare inherited diseases.”
Welcoming Dr Izeboud to the team, Dr Sebastian Nijman co-founder and CSO of Scenic Biotech said:
“In the last three years Scenic has pioneered the genetic modifier space and is now gaining momentum on all fronts, including its lead QPCTL immuno-oncology program. Hence, the timing of bringing in Oscar could not be better. He has an outstanding track record in strategic leadership and building company value through his unique mix of financing and business development experience across the life science and healthcare sectors. We look forward to working with him.”
Dr Izeboud, CEO of Scenic Biotech commented:
“Scenic it is one of the most exciting early stage biotech companies in Europe and I am excited to be taking on the CEO role at this pivotal time. Working at the forefront of identifying genetic modifiers as disease targets for drug intervention, Scenic has immense potential to develop breakthrough therapies for rare inherited diseases and cancer. I am impressed with what the team has achieved so far and look forward to driving Scenic’s further development.”
Scenic recently announced it had been awarded a €3.1 million Innovation Credit from the Dutch Government, to support its lead CD47/QPCTL immuno-oncology program through preclinical development towards human clinical studies.
June 23, 2020 – Scenic Biotech Awarded €3.1 million Innovation Credit from Dutch Government to Progress CD47/QPCTL Immuno-oncology Program
Scenic Biotech BV (“Scenic”), a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, today announced that it has been awarded a €3.1 million Innovation Credit from the Dutch Government. The funds will be used to advance the Company’s lead CD47/QPCTL immuno-oncology program through preclinical development towards human clinical studies.
The Innovation Credit is awarded by the Dutch government through its agency RVO of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and is aimed at the development of promising and challenging innovations. It will support the preclinical development of novel QPCTL (Glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase-like) inhibitors, completing the two-year project with an IND filing.
Scenic’s CD47/QPCTL immuno-oncology program builds on seminal work by the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). An enzyme present in cancer cells, QPTCL was first demonstrated as a promising target for immuno-oncology by using the Company’s proprietary high-resolution genetics platform called Cell-Seq. The results of this discovery were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
QPCTL was found to be a druggable modifier of the CD47 innate immune checkpoint, which is one of the major mechanisms by which cancer cells evade detection by the immune system. As a result of this activity, CD47 is also known as the ‘don’t eat me signal’. After being the first to discover and validate QPCTL as a promising target in immuno-oncology, NKI and LUMCs scientists also showed that small molecule inhibitors of QPCTL can prevent the expression of functional CD47 on cancer cells, thereby causing the cancer cells to be attacked by macrophages and destroyed.
Scenic has gone on to develop a series of chemical inhibitors with potent inhibition against QPCTL and has filed a patent application related to this chemical series.
Dr Sebastian Nijman, co-founder and CEO of Scenic Biotech said:
“We are delighted to be selected for this award from the Dutch Government, recognizing the potential of our program to develop a new cancer therapy. The funding will enable us to accelerate the optimization of our proprietary small molecule QPCTL inhibitors and then advance them towards filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the first step in the drug review process before clinical trials can begin and will represent an exciting milestone for our Company.”
An Innovation Credit can include the technical development of a new product or process or the clinical development of a medicine or device and requires matching funding from Scenic. After the IND approval phase, Scenic will seek a Partner to support human clinical trials.
February 5, 2020 – Interview with Scenic’s founder Thijn Brummelkamp in Labiotech
Through quirks of genetics, some people are naturally resilient to heritable diseases. Thijn Brummelkamp, Managing Director and founder of the Dutch startup Scenic Biotech, explains how the company is using this genetic resilience to treat rare diseases and cancer. [Read more]