MILAN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PinCell, a biotechnology company developing novel therapies for rare dermatological diseases, announced today the appointment of Gabriella Camboni, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer of PinCell and Member of the Board of Directors, and Luigi Costa as Chairman of the Board. Paola Pozzi, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, also joins PinCell’s Board following a successful seed financing of €1.65 million led by Sofinnova Partners, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm based in Paris, London and Milan. The financing was part of a series of investments recently made through The Sofinnova Telethon Fund, the largest fund in Italy dedicated to early-stage biotech startups targeting cures for rare and genetic diseases.
Dr. Camboni is a clinical pharmacologist with 18 years of experience in oncology drug development. She is Chief Executive Officer of BiovelocITA, Italy’s first biotech accelerator, co-founded by Sofinnova Partners in 2015. Dr. Camboni is also co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Ethical Oncology Science (EOS), an Italian startup dedicated to translational medicine in oncology. Previously, Dr. Camboni co-founded and acted as Head of Development at Novuspharma, a biopharma developing innovative treatments for cancer. Both EOS and Novuspharma are part of Sofinnova Partners’ portfolio alumni.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to help develop a game-changing treatment together with an outstanding scientific team and my long-term associates of Sofinnova Partners,” commented Dr. Camboni.
PinCell also bolstered its Board of Directors with the appointment of Luigi Costa as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Costa has over 25 years of international pharmaceutical and biotech experience. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Sofinnova Partners and was the CEO of Nordic Nanovector, a biopharma developing novel targeted therapies for cancer. He also served as Board Member of Oncopeptides AS, a clinical stage biotech company developing a new treatment for Multiple Mieloma. Previously Mr. Costa was Regional Head International at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Amgen in 2014, and held several leadership positions with Amgen including Head of International Oncology Franchise, General Manager of Italy and President of France, Amgen’s largest market outside the US. He also held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility with Eli Lilly both in Europe and in the US.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to support PinCell in the development of its innovative treatment for a severe autoimmune disease. I am confident that PinCell’s outstanding scientific team, together with my colleagues at Sofinnova Partners, will be able to bring a new therapeutic option to patients,” said Mr. Costa.
PinCell’s lead program targets a rare autoimmune bullous disease called Pemphigus, which is characterized by blistering and erosions of the skin and mucous membranes. The condition is chronic, debilitating and potentially life-threatening. PinCell’s unique solution uses an innovative mechanism that inhibits the development of the typical skin blisters, without suppressing the immune system. This is a central factor that makes the treatment less prone to immune-related side effects, enabling patients to have a better quality of life.
Ms. Pozzi commented: “We are pleased to invest in this exceptional team of serial entrepreneurs who have significant clinical expertise in dermatological disorders. They have built strong relationships with US pharma-experienced consultants and international patients’ associations.”
The financing secured last month will advance the company’s development of first-in-class anti-inflammatory therapies for the treatment of rare and severe skin diseases with limited therapeutic options.
Carlo Pincelli, M.D., Professor of Dermatology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Co-founder of PinCell, said: “We are delighted to have secured financing from Sofinnova Partners, an investor with unparalleled authority and expertise in the biotech domain, as well as the support of experienced biotech executives. Together we are confident we will progress towards clinical studies for the benefit of patients suffering from these debilitating skin conditions.”
PinCell is a biotechnology company targeting a novel pathological pathway to develop first-in-class anti-inflammatory therapies for the treatment of rare, severe skin diseases with high unmet medical need. Based in Milan, Italy, PinCell was founded in October 2008 as an academic spin-off of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia by the world-class dermatology experts Prof. Carlo Pincelli and Dr. Alessandra Marconi. PinCell received seed funding from Sofinnova Partners.
For more information, please visit: www.pincell.it
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, with offices in London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of 40 professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The firm focuses on paradigm-shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early-stage opportunities to late-stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 48 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management.
For more information, please visit: www.sofinnovapartners.com