Gemini Therapeutics Announces $42.5 Million Series A Financing to Develop Precision Therapeutics in Ophthalmology and Rare Genetic Diseases

Founded to translate discoveries in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) genetics into precision therapeutics for patients. Broad pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic candidates with potential in ophthalmology and rare complement-mediated genetic diseases. Founders and advisors include leading experts in retinal disease, AMD, complement biology, and gene therapy

Cambridge, Mass., October 17, 2017 — Gemini Therapeutics, a new precision medicine company focused on genetically-defined dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and associated rare genetic diseases, today announced that it has completed a $42.5 million Series A financing to advance multiple programs into the clinic. Atlas Venture, Lightstone Ventures and OrbiMed co-led the Series A, and also invested in seed financing in 2016.

Gemini is developing first-in-class therapeutics built on the strong foundation of human genetics research in AMD, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the U.S. and EU. Research over the last decade has uncovered genetic variants which can increase risk of developing advanced AMD by up to 20-fold, while also increasing the likelihood of systemic morbidities.

“We believe the time is right to harness genetic insights into AMD, and we’ve gathered the people, the technology and the resources necessary to lead the translational effort,” said James McLaughlin, CEO, president and co-founder of Gemini Therapeutics. “To build our pipeline, we focused on patients first — particularly patients with a high genetic risk profile. We assessed the functional implications of their underlying mutations. We then matched each molecular abnormality with an appropriate therapeutic candidate: a recombinant protein, a monoclonal antibody or a gene therapy.”

“Gemini’s multimodal approach allows the company to pursue some of the most compelling targets in the complement system — regulatory proteins — and help patients with a spectrum of loss-of-function mutations which are closely linked to the risk of AMD and rare complement-mediated diseases,” said Steve Squinto, Ph.D., Gemini Board Member.

Gemini’s discovery and development efforts are powered by partnerships and exclusive technology from leading research institutions including the University of Edinburgh, Newcastle University (UK), and the Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation in the Netherlands, as well as innovative companies including StrideBio, Inc.

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve advanced multiple product candidates through the R&D process,” said Scott Lauder Ph.D., senior vice president of process development and manufacturing at Gemini. “In addition to our internal science team, academic collaborations have been critical to our early R&D progress.”

Team, Founders, Advisors and Board

Gemini scientists work closely with an interdisciplinary group of experts.

The company’s scientific founders include the University of Edinburgh’s Paul Barlow, Ph.D., and Andy Herbert, Ph.D., and Tufts University’s Johanna Seddon, M.D., M.Sc.

Gemini’s scientific advisory board is comprised of:

  • Retinal disease and AMD experts including, Alan Wright, Ph.D., M.B. Ch.B., from the University of Edinburgh, Napoleone Ferrara, M.D. from the University of California San Diego, Dean Bok, Ph.D., from University of California Los Angeles, and Bruce Jaffee, Ph.D.
  • Target Biology experts including John Atkinson, M.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, Michael Ehrmann, Ph.D., from the University of Essen-Duisberg, Kevin Marchbank, Ph.D., and Claire Harris Ph.D., from Newcastle University, and Simon Clark Ph.D., from the University of Manchester
  • Gene Therapy experts including Shannon Boye, Ph.D., from the University of Florida, Aravind Asokan, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina, and Chris Mueller, Ph.D., M.Sc., and Claudio Punzo, Ph.D., from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In addition to Mr. McLaughlin, Gemini’s board of directors includes leading life science investors and biotech leaders:

  • Jean George, General Partner at Lightstone Ventures
  • Carl Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, General Partner at OrbiMed Advisors
  • Phil Reilly, M.D., J.D., Independent Board Member and Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures
  • Jason Rhodes, General Partner at Atlas Venture
  • Steve Squinto, Ph.D., Independent Board Member and Venture Partner at OrbiMed Advisors

Gemini Therapeutics

Gemini Therapeutics is a precision medicine company focused on genetically-defined dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and associated rare genetic diseases. Our therapeutic candidates are matched to molecular abnormalities found in patients with high clinical need and our broad multimodal pipeline includes monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins and gene therapies. Launched with funding from leading life science investors and powered by academic partnerships around the world, we are developing a series of first-in-class therapeutics. For more information, visit www.GeminiTherapeutics.com.

Atlas Venture

Atlas Venture is a leading biotech venture capital firm. With the goal of doing well by doing good, we have been building breakthrough biotech startups since 1993. We work side by side with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to translate high impact science into medicines for patients. Our seed-led venture creation strategy rigorously selects and focuses investment on the most compelling opportunities to build scalable businesses and realize value. For more information, please visit www.atlasventure.com.

Lightstone Ventures

Lightstone Ventures was founded in 2012 by the life science Partners of Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Morgenthaler Ventures to focus on early-stage investments in novel breakthrough medical devices and biopharmaceuticals that have the potential to change medicine. The Lightstone team actively manages the Morgenthaler, ATV and Lightstone life science portfolios of more than 40 companies, and has been involved in several of the largest, venture-backed healthcare exits over the last decade including: Acceleron, Ardian, FivePrime, FoldRx, Hypnion, MicroVention, Morphotek, Plexxikon, Portola, Proteolix, Scioderm, Transcend, Threshold, Twelve, and Zeltiq. Lightstone is an international firm with offices in Menlo Park, CA; Boston, MA; Dublin, Ireland; and Singapore. For more information, visit www.lightstonevc.com.

OrbiMed

OrbiMed is a leading healthcare investment firm, with over $14 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the healthcare industry, from start-ups to large multinational corporations, utilizing a range of private equity funds, public equity funds, and royalty/credit funds. OrbiMed maintains offices in New York City, San Francisco, Shanghai, Mumbai and Herzliya. OrbiMed seeks to be a capital provider of choice, providing tailored financing solutions and global team resources and support to help build world-class healthcare companies. For more information, visit www.orbimed.com.

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