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Overview

Company

Overview

Harnessing one of the most essential pathways in the innate immune system to generate effective therapies

Rigontec is the leader in RIG-I targeting RNA therapeutics. Utilizing our proprietary RIG-I agonist platform, we harness one of the most essential pathways in the innate immune system to pioneer a novel immuno-oncology treatment approach.

Rigontec’s proprietary agonists specifically activate RIG-I, inducing both immediate and long-term anti-tumor immunity and have proven substantial local and systemic tumor regression in several relevant in vivo models.

In addition to malignant diseases, our innovative bifunctional RNA molecules can be developed for the treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Investors & Funding

Company

Investors & Funding

The company has raised €14.25 million in its recent Series A financing round. Rigontec is supported by a consortium of experienced life science investors including Wellington Partners, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, NRW.BANK, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Forbion Capital Partners, Sunstone Capital and MP Healthcare Venture Management.

Management

Team

Management

CEO

Christian joined Rigontec from Neovii Biotech GmbH, previously Fresenius Biotech GmbH, where he was President and CEO from 2008 until 2014. During his tenure, one antibody product was brought to market and the indication for another product expanded. Dr. Schetter was instrumental in selling Fresenius Biotech to the Neopharm Group to form Neovii Biotech and positioning it as a successful standalone business.

From 1998 to 2008, Christian was Senior Vice President, European Operations of Coley Pharmaceutical Group Inc., a pioneer in the development of immunostimulatory oligonucleotides, and served as Managing Director of Coley GmbH. He was part of the leadership team which built Coley Pharmaceuticals from inception through multiple financing rounds, a NASDAQ IPO and, following a number of significant pharma deals, to a trade sale to Pfizer in 2007.

Christian received his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Cologne followed by a postdoctoral research in oncology and virology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California and the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried, Germany. He is a member of the Executive Board of BIO Deutschland, the German industry association for biotech companies.

CFO

Anne has held the finance function for various companies in the life sciences and health care industry across Europe. Since 2002, she has been active in the industry and has been responsible for numerous companies and projects in the field of private placements, M&A, corporate structuring and financial modeling.

She is Managing Director of MedVenture GmbH, a Munich-based corporate finance and strategic advisory company focusing on the life sciences and health care industry.

Anne holds a graduate degree in business administration (Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität Munich, Honors).

SVP Research

Christine Schuberth-Wagner is a co-founder of Rigontec, and obtained her Ph.D. on the molecular interaction of RNA with RIG-I, which included the development of Rigontec’s lead compound. Prior to co-founding Rigontec, she worked as a project manager and GO-Bio project leader at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Bonn.

Christine Schuberth-Wagner studied human biology at the University of Marburg and took part in the MBA BioMedTech program at the University of Potsdam. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biomedicine from the University of Bonn.

SVP Clinical Development

Manuela Niewel, M.D., Ph.D., Dipl-Pharm.Med, is a senior-level medical oncologist, with over 20 years of clinical experience. She joined Rigontec in February 2015 and is responsible for the clinical development of Rigontec’s compounds in the position of Senior Vice President Clinical Development.

Dr. Niewel brings a wealth of experience in clinical research and development, having worked at prominent clinical research companies as well as pharma companies specializing in oncologic and hemato-oncologic indications. She has led global clinical research teams scientifically and as line manager.

Dr. Niewel received her medical degree and oncology specialist training from the University of Munich (TU) and is fluent in German, English and French. She is located in Rigontecs IZB Munich Office.

Chemistry and Manufacturing Control

Frank Hennecke, Ph.D., has been Executive Vice President Product Development of Cytos Biotechnology AG since 2001, where he has been responsible for process sciences and pioneered the manufacturing process for Qbeta-derived virus-like particles, the foundation of Cytos’ class of product candidates.

He joined Cytos in 1998 after a postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Andreas Plückthun at the University of Zurich. Frank Hennecke studied biology, and completed a Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Goettingen in 1996.

Preclinical Development

Dr. Daniel Bock has been in pharmaceutical research and development for more than 15 years, covering a broad range of expertise from early drug discovery to clinical proof of concept. He is a versatile managing scientist, combining comprehensive scientific knowledge with business skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Dr. Bock is a biologist by training, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Hannover/Medical School Hannover in 1998. After having worked as a Post-doctoral Scientist at the Novartis Research Institute in Vienna, Austria investigating inflammatory targets, he joined in 2001 starting up Revotar Biopharmaceuticals, a German biotech company dedicated to the development of novel anti-inflammatory compounds. As Head of Biology, Director of Preclinical R&D/Director of Clinical Development and finally Chief Scientific Officer, he led cross-functional teams, designing and successfully executing preclinical and clinical development programs. Since 2013, Dr. Bock has been supporting and consulting biotech companies and start-up projects in the fields of diagnostics, med-tech and particularly drug development.

Supervisory Board

Team

Supervisory Board

Chairman

Don has more than 30 years experience in research and development, financial, business, and operating management in the biotechnology and consumer products industry. He is currently President of White City Consulting ApS in Denmark and serves on the supervisory boards of arGEN-X NV (Euronext Brussels), Newron Pharmaceuticals SPA (SIX Swiss Exchange) and Noxxon Pharma AG.

Previously, Don served as President and CEO of Santaris Pharma A/S until the company was sold to Roche, and as Executive Chairman of Contera Pharma until it was sold to Bukwang Pharma in November 2014. He was also co-founder and CEO of Targacept Inc., a public US biotechnology company listed on NASDAQ. In recent years, he served on the supervisory boards of LigoCyte Pharma Inc., Enbiotix Inc. and Biosource Inc.

Don holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in toxicology from Utah State University and a B.S. in biology from the University of Maryland. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology at Research Triangle Park, NC and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology.

University of Bonn

Gunther is a co-founder of Rigontec and also a co-inventor of Rigontec’s technology. He holds a professorship in Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital of the University of Bonn. Prior to his appointment in 2007, he was Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Bonn. He obtained his habilitation in clinical pharmacology in 2001.

He is the Head of the Bonfor Research Commission at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn, a member of the Expert Committee on Cancer Therapy Trials at the German Cancer Aid organization and is a spokesman of the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence, which is funded by the German Research Foundation. Additionally, he was President of the International Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society from 2011 to 2012.

His scientific work focuses on the understanding of innate immune receptors and the immune sensing of RNA and DNA.

Wellington Partners

Regina joined Wellington Partners in the spring of 2010. She is a General Partner and represents the Wellington Partners funds on the Board of Middle Peak Medical, Ayoxxa, Sapiens and Atopix and is an external director at GlaxoSmithKline’s Respiratory TA Board. Since joining the industry in 2000, she has become an influential investor in the European venture capital industry, focusing on early-stage and growth deals in Life Sciences.

Regina led the life sciences efforts of Atlas Venture in Europe, a leading transatlantic venture capital firm. As a Partner at Atlas Venture, she led numerous financing rounds and was the founding investor in Bicycle Therapeutics, Fibrex, F-star and Jenavalve. Regina served on several boards, including the board of U3 Pharma, which was acquired by Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd in 2008 and Novamed, which was acquired by SciClone in 2010.

From 2000 to 2004, while working for Apax Partners, she was responsible for healthcare investments in Germany and was closely involved in investments such as Genmab, Silence Therapeutics and Wilex. She started to build her extensive network in the global healthcare industry during her tenure at McKinsey from 1997 to 2000.

Regina gained profound insights into the fast-growing biotech sector as a university lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Vienna and the MRC Cambridge, where she collaborated with emerging UK biotech companies.

Regina studied chemical engineering in Vienna and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund

Marcus joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture team in Ingelheim at the beginning of 2014 and is a Director of the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Venture Fund. He serves as a board member of Rigontec in Siegburg.

From 2011 to 2014 he worked in Boehringer Ingelheim’s department of Research Networking where he was responsible for external resourcing and innovation in the area of cardiometabolic CNS and respiratory research for Research Germany. From 2009 to 2011 he was a member of a newly founded collaborative research department, where he was responsible for international research projects between Boehringer Ingelheim and external partners. In 2006, Marcus had joined the R&D Project Management Department, where he was responsible for leading project teams from preclinical development to clinical Phase II studies in the area of oncology, urology, metabolism and CNS diseases. During a three-year period, he brought several projects from preclinical development to the end of clinical Phase I.

Marcus joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 1996 as a Ph.D. student in the field of Alzheimer´s disease research. Upon completing his post-doctoral fellowship, Marcus joined the Parkinson disease research group as the Molecular Biology Lab Head. He studied biology with a focus on genetics and biochemistry in Muenster and Mainz.

Forbion Capital Partners

Holger is a General Partner with Forbion Capital Partners and heads the Munich office. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, which he obtained under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra (founder of Forbion’s portfolio company Pieris AG); all in the department of Prof. Dr. Hartmut Michel (Nobel Laureate 1988) at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics. As an undergraduate, Holger studied Molecular Biology/Microbial Biology and Biochemistry at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich. After his studies, Holger gained operational experience as a product development manager at Biometra/ Whatman Plc (now part of GE Healthcare).

He started his career in Venture Capital in 1997 as an Investment Manager at Technologieholding VC GmbH, which at that time was one of the leading German Venture Capital firms. Technologieholding was acquired by the 3i Group in early 2000, where Holger became a Director at its German healthcare practice. Following this assignment he became Principal and later Partner at Global Life Science Ventures, a well-established life sciences-focused partnership with offices in Switzerland and Germany.

Holger has served on the boards of numerous life sciences companies including Epigenomics (IPO 2004), MBT (assets sold to Medigene AG), 4SC (IPO 2005), NeurogesX (IPO 2007), Fibrex Medical (assets licensed to Ikaria Inc.), Agendia BV and Santaris A/S (sold to Roche 2014). Holger holds board seats at Curetis AG, Cellnovo Group S.A. (IPO 2015), Allecra Therapeutics GmbH and Rigontec GmbH.

CEO

Christian joined Rigontec from Neovii Biotech GmbH, previously Fresenius Biotech GmbH, where he was President and CEO from 2008 until 2014. During his tenure, one antibody product was brought to market and the indication for another product expanded. Dr. Schetter was instrumental in selling Fresenius Biotech to the Neopharm Group to form Neovii Biotech and positioning it as a successful standalone business.

From 1998 to 2008, Christian was Senior Vice President, European Operations of Coley Pharmaceutical Group Inc., a pioneer in the development of immunostimulatory oligonucleotides, and served as Managing Director of Coley GmbH. He was part of the leadership team which built Coley Pharmaceuticals from inception through multiple financing rounds, a NASDAQ IPO and, following a number of significant pharma deals, to a trade sale to Pfizer in 2007.

Christian received his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Cologne followed by a postdoctoral research in oncology and virology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California and the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried, Germany. He is a member of the Executive Board of BIO Deutschland, the German industry association for biotech companies.

Sunstone Capital

Sten Verland is a partner in the Life Science group and one of the three co-founders. Sten focuses on therapeutics investments.

During his career, Sten has been active as a serial entrepreneur and business angel and has co-founded ten start-ups, primarily in the biotech and CRO fields. While at Sunstone, Sten has played a key role in executing two exits (Action Pharma and Zymenex). Both deals made it to the global Top Ten list of published upfront cash deals in 2007-2012.

Sten holds a Master’s degree in Biology and Mathematics and a PhD in Immunology – both from the University of Copenhagen. Sten serves as a board member of the Danish Venture Capital Association. In his spare time, Sten is both a keen yachtsman and a big admirer of classical music.

Advisors

Team

Advisors

Gunther Hartmann is Professor of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital of the University of Bonn. He is a co-founder of Rigontec and also a co-inventor of Rigontec’s technology. Prior to his appointment in 2007, he was Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Bonn. He obtained his habilitation in clinical pharmacology in 2001.

He has been Head of the Bonfor Research Commission at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn since 2008. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Expert Committee on Cancer Therapy Trials at the German Cancer Aid organization. Since 2010, he has been a spokesman of the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence, which is funded by the German Research Foundation. From 2011 to 2012, he was President of the International Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society.

His scientific work focuses on the understanding of innate immune receptors and the immune sensing of RNA and DNA.

Veit Hornung is a professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He is also a co-founder of Rigontec and a co-inventor of Rigontec’s technology. Additionally, he is a board member of the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Bonn, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, USA. Moreover, Group Leader ‘Therapeutic Oligonucleotides’ in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Munich and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital in Munich.

In 2007, he was awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize and in 2010 the Paul-Martini-Prize. His research focuses on receptors of the innate immune system.

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