Jecure Therapeutics Inc., a San Diego, CA-based biotechnology company with novel drug discovery programs targeting serious inflammatory diseases, will be acquired by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.
The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
With this acquisition, Genentech will obtain full rights to Jecure’s entire preclinical portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors. Nucleotide-binding oligomerization (NOD)-like Receptor Family Pyrin Domain Containing Protein 3 (NLRP3) is an immunomodulatory protein involved in the activation of certain inflammasomes, protein complexes responsible for the activation of cellular inflammatory responses. Studies have linked cellular stress signals to the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes in a wide range of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver fibrosis, gout, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cardiovascular diseases.
Led by Jeffrey A. Stafford, Ph.D., president and CEO, and scientific founder Dr. Ariel Feldstein, Division Chief of Gastroenterology at UCSD School of Medicine and a leading physician scientist in hepatology, Jecure focuses on the discovery of novel therapeutics for the treatment of NASH and liver fibrosis.
With operations in the biotech hub of San Diego, California, the company combines emerging NASH biology from Dr. Feldstein’s lab, a proprietary liver disease platform and an elite discovery team of veteran pharma/biotech scientists. Its lead program has identified small molecule inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome, a novel target and pro-inflammatory driver of NASH.
The company began operations in 2015 with a seed financing from founding investor Versant Ventures. The company raised $20m in a Series A round from Versant in 2017 to continue to develop and advance its portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors.