Announcements LOREM IPSUM

SalioGen Therapeutics Announces Closing of $20 Million Series A Financing to Support Advancing a Novel Genome Engineering Platform for Non-Viral Gene Therapy

Introducing a mammal-derived genome engineering enzyme for next-generation gene and cell therapy

Financing to fund SalioGen’s pipeline in genetic diseases, based on proprietary EDIT ‘gene coding’ platform to advance durable, safe and affordable non-viral gene therapies

Financing concurrent with strengthening of board of directors and scientific advisory board

BURLINGTON, Mass. – March 1, 2021 – SalioGen Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company advancing Exact DNA Integration Technology (EDIT) for non-viral gene therapy, today announced that it has closed a $20 million Series A financing. The round was led by PBM Capital, a healthcare-focused investment firm, and included other undisclosed investors. Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the preclinical validation of the Company’s proprietary Exact DNA Integration Technology (EDIT) platform for the development of durable, safe and affordable in vivo gene therapies, including initial data in SalioGen’s lead programs in familial hypercholesterolemia and inherited macular degeneration. In conjunction with the financing, SalioGen has strengthened its Board of Directors and its Scientific Advisory Board.

“We are thrilled to introduce SalioGen and the EDIT genome engineering platform, backed by the confidence of investors with an excellent track record and enthusiasm for potential breakthrough technologies,” said Ray Tabibiazar, M.D., chief executive officer and chairman of SalioGen. “We believe that SalioGen has identified an evolved approach to gene therapy that, grounded by the only mammal-derived genome engineering enzyme and unconstrained by the limits seen to date in the gene therapy space, should empower us to develop safe, lasting and affordable non-viral gene therapies with the potential to cure genetic diseases unaddressed by current gene therapy and gene editing approaches. We are grateful not only to have the support of such esteemed investors, but also to have assembled such a prestigious group of directors, scientific advisors and collaborators.”

Paul B. Manning, chairman and CEO of PBM Capital, added, “Having supported the earliest iterations of gene therapy, we recognize the field’s immense inherent value, the areas where it has grown and where needed improvements remain. We believe that SalioGen’s EDIT platform represents a quantum leap forward in gene therapy technology that can improve the quality of therapy for individual patients while scaling it to reach potentially millions of patients in need.”

SalioGen has assembled a prestigious leadership team with collective experience in human gene therapy, medical genetics, lipid nanoparticles and cell therapy. Concurrent with the financing, Sean Stalfort, president of PBM Capital, will join SalioGen’s Board of Directors. The Board will also include:

  • Dr. Tabibiazar, CEO and chairman of SalioGen
  • Joseph J. Higgins, M.D., president and chief scientific officer of SalioGen (previously at UniQure)
  • Suku Nagendran, M.D., president of R&D at Jaguar Gene Therapy (formerly the chief medical officer of Avexis)

The Company’s founding Scientific Advisory Board will be chaired by molecular biologist and geneticist Nancy L. Craig, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Other members of the founding Scientific Advisory Board include:

  • Beverly Davidson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Strategy Officer at CHOP Research Institute;
  • Thomas Quertermous, M.D., past chair of Stanford Cardiovascular Research, Stanford University School of Medicine;
  • Ronald M. Krauss, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, past advisor to National Cholesterol Education Program, leadership roles with the American Heart Association;
  • Ellis J. Neufeld, M.D., Ph.D. Physician‐in‐Chief of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; and
  • Jesse B. Owens, Ph.D., University of Hawaii

BTIG, LLC acted as exclusive placement agent for the offering.

Investor Relations

Media Relations

Jason F. Cole

CEO & Chairman of the Board

Jason is a strategic biotechnology CEO and board member with over 20 years of experience working with public and private biotech companies focused on strategy, capital raising, business development, operations, and enabling teams.

Jason joined SalioGen from bluebird bio, where he served as Chief Strategy and Financial Officer, Chief Business Officer, and Chief Operating and Legal Officer, providing strategic, financial, operational, and legal oversight during key growth and transition periods. In these roles, bluebird bio scaled from 100 to 1,200 employees (U.S. & Europe), secured FDA approval of three first-of-their-kind gene and cell therapies (ZYNTEGLO, SKYSONA, ABECMA), and closed over $3.7 billion in financings and strategy-enabling business development transactions. Before bluebird bio, Jason held positions on the executive leadership teams of Zalicus and CombinatoRx, with responsibility across corporate development, strategic alliances, legal, IT, and facilities.

Jason earned a J.D. from Columbia University and an A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College.

Joseph J. Higgins, M.D.

Chief Innovation Officer, Co-Founder & Board Member

Joe is an executive leader, clinician, and scientist dedicated to advancing gene therapies for children and adults with genetic disorders involving the cardiovascular, ophthalmological, neurological, and immunological systems. His background spans pediatrics, child neurology, medical genetics, and molecular developmental neurobiology.

Earlier in his career, Joe worked on the Human Genome Project as the lead of the Human Genetic Initiative. His academic background includes positions as an instructor at Harvard Medical School, an Assistant Professor at George Washington University, an Associate Professor at SUNY Albany, and a Professor at Cornell University. As the Vice President of Clinical Development at uniQure, Joe led Phase 1/2 first-in-human gene therapy trials in Huntington’s disease.

Joe received his medical degree from New York University and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Biology from Marist College. He is double-board certified in Pediatrics and Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology. He is licensed to practice medicine in New York and Massachusetts.

Jeff Kopacz, M.S., J.D.

Senior Vice President, Intellectual Property & Contracts

Jeff has extensive intellectual property (IP) experience, including building and defending IP protection for platform-based technologies and FDA-approved therapeutics.

Previously, Jeff served as Vice President of Intellectual Property at Omega Therapeutics, leading IP and contract activities related to their genomic control technology. Before Omega, Jeff worked at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals for ten years, most recently as Senior Director, Senior Intellectual Property counsel.

Earlier, Jeff was an attorney at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP (now Locke Lord LLP) Jeff began his biopharma career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda Pharmaceuticals).

Jeff received his undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, his graduate degree in molecular microbiology and immunology from Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from Suffolk University Law School.

Kate Lewis

Vice President, Portfolio and Program Management

Kate is a biotech leader with 20 years of experience in life sciences and drug development, including extensive work in gene therapy. Her focus is portfolio management, strategic planning, communications, and team leadership.

Prior to SalioGen, Kate served as Vice President, Program Lead and Head of Program Management at Syndax Pharmaceuticals and Freeline Therapeutics. Before that, Kate spent nearly seven years at bluebird bio in roles in Medical Affairs and Program Leadership.

Kate holds a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. from the University of Iowa, both in English literature.

Will McGowan

Executive Director, Finance & FP&A

Will is a financial leader with over 15 years of experience working in both public and private biotech companies at all stages of development, from discovery through commercialization.

Will most recently was the Senior Director of FP&A for Allena Pharmaceuticals. Before that role, He spent five years as the Senior Director of Finance and Controller for Navitor Pharmaceuticals and nine years at AMAG Pharmaceuticals in various roles, including Controller and Director of FP&A.

Will holds an MBA from Quinnipiac University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

Jill Murray

Vice President, Human Resources

Jill is a senior human resources professional with 20+ years of progressive experience in the biotech industry. Her focus is organizational design, employee development, employee relations, leadership coaching, change management, compensation, benefits administration, and legal compliance.

Jill began her career at ImmunoGen, where she covered all facets of Human Resources and Talent Management during her 14-year tenure. After that, Jill joined Sarepta Therapeutics, where she was responsible for establishing and building the HR Business Partnering function, followed by Rubius Therapeutics where she served as Head of Human Resources.

Jill holds a bachelor’s degree in art and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and is a certified Executive Coach.

Sandeep Nema, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Technical Operations

Sandeep has extensive developmental experience in bringing candidates to clinic that span various modalities, including gene therapy, ADCs, mAbs, vaccines, oligonucleotides, bi/tri-specific, and CART.

Before SalioGen, Sandeep worked for 24 years at Pfizer. Recently, his team successfully brought Pfizer’s COVID-19 LNP-mRNA vaccine to the clinic and achieved emergency use authorization. In his last role as Executive Director, Biotherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences, Global Biologics, Sandeep was responsible for all pre-proof-of-concept biologics projects, approximately 50 in total, from discovery up to Phase 3 start. Before that, Sandeep established the Protein Pharmaceutical R&D group at Pfizer, which included Formulation, Microbiology, and Stability functions. He is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Tennessee.

Sandeep earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceuticals from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and his Bachelor of Pharmacy from Banaras Hindu University. He is also a Certified Regulatory Affairs Professional.

Joe Senn, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Head of R&D

Joe is an R&D leader with experience in nearly all therapeutic modalities, including small molecules, biologics, antisense, gene editing, and mRNA therapeutics. He most recently served as the Vice President of Nonclinical Development at Moderna Therapeutics, where he and his team were responsible for progressing over 40 candidates into the clinic. Before Moderna, Joe served as Site Head for Drug Safety at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, overseeing the development of all immunology products across the portfolio.

Joe earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Physiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and his B.S. from Niagara University.