Jeito Capital co-leads $156 million oversubscribed Series B financing in Quell Therapeutics
Quell Therapeutics is the world leader in developing engineered T-regulatory (Tregs) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system.
Jeito continues to build a strong portfolio of companies with groundbreaking therapies in areas of high unmet need.
Paris, France, 29 November 2021 – Jeito Capital (“Jeito”), a leading independent private equity firm dedicated to biotech and biopharma, today announces that it has co-led a $156 million oversubscribed Series B financing round in Quell Therapeutics (“Quell”), the world leader in the development of engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system.
Jeito co-led the financing with Ridgeback Capital Investments and SV Health Investors and Fidelity Management & Research Company, with participation from founding investor Syncona and new investors including British Patient Capital through its Future Fund: Breakthrough program, Janus Henderson Investors, Monashee Investment Management, Point72 and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC. Rachel Mears, Partner at Jeito Capital, will join Quell’s Board of Directors.
Quell is harnessing the full power of Tregs, known as the “master modulators” of immune homeostasis, to create novel cell therapies designed to suppress overactive immune responses, drive long-term tolerance in the local immune environment and promote tissue repair.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund the LIBERATE Phase 1/2 clinical trial of QEL-001, Quell’s first-in-class antigen-specific multi-modular CAR-Treg cell therapy candidate designed to prevent organ rejection in liver transplant patients by inducing durable immune tolerance and eliminating the need for lifelong immunosuppression. QEL-001 is on track to become the first multi-modular engineered CAR-Treg cell therapy in clinical development, with patient recruitment expected to begin before the end of the year. Funds will also be used to advance the company’s pipeline in core therapeutic areas of transplantation, neuroinflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases, as well as accelerate the development of Quell’s autologous multi-modular engineered Treg platform and further develop an allogeneic CAR-Treg platform.
Quell’s versatile platform technology enables the company to design, engineer, and manufacture at scale Treg products with greater stability, persistence, and potency than earlier generations. Key elements of this technology include its proprietary Foxp3 Phenotype Lock technology, which enables Quell to “lock” Tregs in an immunosuppressive phenotype that enhances their safety, stability, and efficacy; chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modules for tissue targeting; and additional modules to enhance disease-specific efficacy and safety.
The company, which is based in London, U.K., with an office in Boston, Mass., U.S., is led by Chief Executive Officer Iain McGill, a leading pharmaceutical executive with extensive relevant experience, having spent most of his 25 years in the industry in immunology, including the areas of solid organ and cell transplantation, at global pharmaceutical companies such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Roche, and Novartis. Quell recently strengthened its executive leadership team with key appointments, including Dominik Hartl as Chief Medical Officer and Tracey Lodie as Chief Scientific Officer.
Rafaèle Tordjman, Founder and CEO at Jeito, said: “Our investment in Quell is testament of our ambition to continue building a strong portfolio of companies with the potential of becoming market leaders. Following the recent closing of our first fund, Jeito I, at €534 million ($630 million), we are pleased to have co-led this financing round alongside many prestigious investors in the US and the UK. With its high-quality science, expert leadership team, strong syndicate of investors and significant capital, Quell is ideally positioned to accelerate its therapies through clinical development for the benefit of millions of patients.”
Rachel Mears, Partner at Jeito, said: “We have been impressed with Quell’s science, its team, ambitious strategy, and commitment to accelerating the delivery of truly innovative and life-changing therapies for patients across autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and in organ transplant rejection, for which there is a high unmet need. Quell has made significant progress since the company’s creation in 2019 and we are excited to be working closely with the team, providing continuous support and expertise, as they progress their first enhanced Treg cell therapy candidate into clinical development.”
Iain McGill, Chief Executive Officer of Quell Therapeutics, said: “We are proud to have the support of this high-quality syndicate of investors as we drive forward to our next stage of growth. With this financing, we have the full suite of capabilities – capital, cutting-edge science, and a world-class team – to advance our pipeline and platform to key milestones on our path to ultimately deliver potentially transformative therapies to patients suffering from diseases caused by immune dysregulation.”
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading investment company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports entrepreneurs through its expert, integrated, multi-talented team and through the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, building market leaders in their respective therapeutic areas with accelerated patients’ access in Europe & the United States. Jeito Capital has €534 million under management. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States. For more information, please visit www.jeito.life, or follow on Twitter @Jeito_life or LinkedIn.
About Quell Therapeutics
Quell Therapeutics is the world leader in developing engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies that aim to harness, direct and optimize their immune suppressive properties to address serious medical conditions driven by the immune system.
The Company is leveraging its pioneering phenotype lock technology, unique multi-modular platform and integrated manufacturing capabilities to design and develop a pipeline of highly engineered Treg cell therapies with greater potential for stability, persistence and potency than earlier generations of Treg cell therapy approaches.
Quell’s lead candidate QEL-001 is being developed to induce operational tolerance following liver transplantation, with the potential to protect the post-transplant liver without the need for chronic immunosuppressive medications. Quell is also advancing additional programs in neuroinflammatory and autoimmune diseases. www.quell-tx.com.
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