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Forbion Co-leads $54m Series A Financing in newly formed Gotham Therapeutics

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Gotham is developing a novel drug class targeting RNA-modifying proteins Forbion’s first investment from its newly launched Forbion IV fund

Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, today announces that it invested $15 million in the $54 million Series A financing in Gotham Therapeutics, a newly formed biotechnology company developing a novel drug class targeting RNA-modifying proteins.

Forbion co-led the financing with founding investor Versant Ventures. The investor syndicate also included SR One, Celgene and Alexandria Venture Investments. Gotham is part of New York’s rapidly growing biopharma community with a subsidiary in one of Europe’s leading life sciences clusters near Munich, Germany.

Gotham was founded based upon the ground-breaking work of its co-founder, Professor 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 the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. 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.

Commenting, Holger Reithinger, Ph.D., General Partner at Forbion said:

“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. 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. Lee Babiss, CEO of Gotham Therapeutics commented:

“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.”

“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. Samie Jaffrey, Professor of Pharmacology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Co-Founder and Scientific Advisory Board member of Gotham Therapeutics.

In connection with the financing, Dr. Holger Reithinger will join Dr. Carlo Rizzuto and Dr. 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.