2020

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.
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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.
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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]

2019

June 16, 2019 – Scenic’s platform technology patent receives notice of allowance

Scenic Biotech BV, 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 the patent application covering it’s Cell-Seq technology platform has received notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office.

March 3, 2019 – Scenic’s advisor Ton Schumacher identifies a modifier of the CD47 “don’t eat me” checkpoint

Using the platform technology that is proprietary to Scenic (i.e., Cell-Seq), a team of researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Leiden University Medical Center have identified the enzyme QPCTL as a critical modifier of the immune checkpoint protein CD47. The team showed that inhibition or deletion of QPCTL disrupts the SIRPα-CD47 interaction and leads to increased phagocytosis of target cells in vitro. Furthermore, interfering with QPCTL expression increases neutrophil-mediated killing of tumor cells in mice. This work highlights QPCTL as a potential target that may overcome some of the shortcomings of anti-CD47 antibodies. The work was published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

CD47 white paper
Link to press release

January 16, 2019 – Eurostars Grant awarded to Scenic

Scenic Biotech BV, a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, has been awarded a prestigious Eurostars grant for one of its R&D programs in the Immune Oncology space.

2018

June 25, 2018 – Scenic appoints Ulrich Grau as Chairman of the Board

Scenic Biotech BV, 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 appointed Ulrich Grau as Chairman to its Board of Directors.
Ulrich Grau serves also as chairman of i-novion and on the Boards of Affimed and Thermosome. He has over 35 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries including general management, business development, corporate strategy and the development of new products and technologies. Dr. Grau was Chief Operating Officer at Micromet from 2011 to 2012. Between 2006 and 2010, he was a founder, President and CEO of Lux Biosciences, Inc., a clinical stage ophthalmic company. Previously, he served as CSO at Enzon, and as President of Research and Development at BASF Pharma/Knoll where he directed a global R&D organization whose development pipeline included adalimumab (Humira®). The majority of his career was at Aventis Pharma, where he last held the position of Senior VP of Global Late Stage Development. The long-acting insulin Lantus® is based on his inventions made during his early years as a scientist with Hoechst AG. Ulrich received his Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Stuttgart and spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at Purdue University in the field of protein crystallography.

April 5, 2018 – Scenic Biotech is named academic spinout of 2017 by Nature Biotechnology

Scenic Biotech BV, a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, was ranked among the Top 2017 Spinouts by the renowned journal Nature Biotechnology.

2017

December 14, 2017 – Scenic appoints Chas Bountra to it’s scientific advisory board

Scenic Biotech BV, a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, appoints Chas Bountra to its scientific advisory board.
Chas is Chief Scientist of the Structural Genomics Consortium, Professor at the Univ. of Oxford and Imperial College London. He is the former VP and Head of Biology at GSK. At GSK he was involved in the development of over 40 clinical candidates and the launch of alosetron. Dr Bountra is on the SAB of Carrick Tx, Spinifex Pharma, Axol Bioscience, Tekcapital and IP Asset Ventures. Chas is a world leader in drug discovery and development.

November 30, 2017 – Scenic appoints Alexandra Glucksmann as member of its Board of Directors

Scenic Biotech BV, 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 appointed Alexandra Glucksmann to its Board of Directors
Alexandra holds a Ph.D. with honors from the University of Chicago and was a post-doctoral fellow at the M.I.T.. She spent 13 years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, ultimately serving as Vice President. She was Senior VP at Cerulean Pharma. Most recently, Alexandra served as founding chief operating officer of Editas Medicine Inc.. Alexandra is currently President and CEO at Cedilla Therapeutics and serves on the board of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology (WEST).

August 16, 2017 – Scenic’s co-founder Thijn Brummelkamp and advisor Ton Schumacher report identification of a PD-L1 modifier in Nature

A team of researchers at the Netherlands Cancer institute including Thijn Brummelkamp and Ton Schumacher have identified CMTM6 as a critical modifier of the immune checkpoint protein PD-L1. The work highlights CMTM6 as a potential new drug target to combat cancer.

Link to press release

October 17, 2017 – Scenic appoints Stephen Friend and Ton Schumacher to it’s scientific advisory board

Scenic Biotech BV, a pioneer in the discovery of genetic modifiers to enable the development of disease modifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders and other devastating illnesses, appoints Ton Schumacher and Stephen Friend to its scientific advisory board.

About Ton Schumacher: Ton is a Group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Professor of Immunotechnology at Leiden University. Dr Schumacher is Co-founder of The T-Cell Factory (acquired by Kite Pharma/Gilead), AIMM Therapeutics, and Neon Therapeutics. Ton is a world leader in tumor neoantigens and immuno-oncology.

About Stephen Friend: Stephen is Chairman of Sage Bionetworks, President and co-founder of 4YouandMe, former Director at Apple Inc., Senior VP at Merck & Co, and co-founder of Rosetta Inpharmatics. Dr Friend has held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, The University of Washington, and Mt Sinai Hospital. Stephen is a world leader in genetics oncology and health informatics.

May 6, 2017 – Scenic Biotech closes financing round

Scenic Biotech BV, a company that looks to tackle diseases by identifying genetic modifiers, has secured a substantial amount in early stage funding.
The start-up company that was spun out of The Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oxford University raised €6.5m in financing, which will be used to develop its ‘genetic off-switch’ for cancer and rare genetic diseases. The round was co-led by Netherlands-based life sciences investor BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) and peer INKEF Capital, with the participation of Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), the university-associated venturing investor.
The underlying technology behind Scenic focuses on disease modifier genes, which until recently have proved problematic to uncover. Thijn Brummelkamp, Professor at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Co-Founder of Scenic Biotech, explained: “With our Cell-Seq technology we can experimentally assess nearly all genes that impinge on any cellular process with high precision and sensitivity. For the first time, we can now systematically identify genes that suppress processes that go awry in disease. These genes can serve as starting points for drug development and discovery to rebalance a variety of diseases. Our first in-house lead program that resulted from the Cell-Seq technology is in the immuno-oncology space and we will add additional programs in other indications, in particular in rare genetic diseases, in the next two years.”
Sebastian Nijman, Associate Professor of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at Oxford University and Co-Founder of Scenic Biotech, added: “With this financing from a strong Anglo-Dutch venture capital syndicate, we will build the company to discover and develop a completely new class of therapeutic targets. Just as gene mutations can cause disease, we now know they can also protect us from disease. However, this insight has not yet been used for target discovery as the identification of such disease suppressing genes has been essentially impossible. Our new technology can now unlock this “dark matter” of our genome.”