Rodin Therapeutics Applies Insights of Epigenetics to Neurological Disorders

Founded by Atlas Venture and Proteros biostructures

Embargoed until 5 a.m. EST on June 27th, 2013.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Rodin Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying insights of epigenetics to novel therapeutics for neurological disorders, announced its founding by Atlas Venture and Proteros biostructures. Rodin is founded based on its insight into key epigenetic modulators of CNS function, privileged access to Proteros’ best-in-class structural biology capabilities, and a team with deep CNS drug development and company formation experience. Rodin secured financing from Atlas Venture and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC).

“The field of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease represents a critical unmet medical need with a large opportunity for new therapeutics,” said Dr. Bruce Booth, Acting CEO of Rodin Therapeutics. “We are excited to launch Rodin Therapeutics as a capital efficient vehicle to take a novel, epigenetics guided approach to these diseases.”

The Rodin platform and pipeline is the product of a strategic partnership with Proteros, a leader in structural biology, biophysical profiling and integrated lead discovery. Proteros’ capabilities enable an orthogonal look at the interactions of small molecules as they bind to key epigenetic targets. Proteros is a founding shareholder in Rodin, and will offer Rodin privileged access to leading-edge technology and exclusive rights to key targets. The Rodin team and Proteros scientists will work together to advance the Rodin pipeline and discovery efforts.

Dr. Torsten Neuefeind, CEO of Proteros commented: “We are excited about the founding of Rodin Therapeutics and to join the high caliber team of CNS experts and blue chip investors. This is a further validation of our structure-based discovery platform for a novel neuroscience approach. Arnd Christ, CFO of Proteros added: “Rodin represents an innovative target focused financing approach to address the interest of all parties involved.”

The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Boston and Janssen Research & Development, LLC, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, will engage in scientific collaboration with Rodin Therapeutics with the goal of sharing knowledge and expertise to advance novel solutions in CNS. A member of the Boston Innovation Center will participate on the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Rodin has assembled a team with deep drug discovery and company creation experience including Martin Jefson PhD, former head of Neuroscience Research at Pfizer (Chief Scientific Officer); Ankit Mahadevia MD, Venture Partner at Atlas Venture (Acting Chief Business Officer); Bruce Booth, PhD, Partner at Atlas Venture (Acting Chief Executive Officer).

About Rodin Therapeutics

Rodin Therapeutics is discovering and developing first in class therapeutics for cognitive disorders, applying unique insights into the role of epigenetics and best in class structural biology capabilities. Applying Rodin’s unique access to the Proteros structural biology platform and deep experience in CNS drug development, the company has identified high potential targets and novel chemical strategies to address high unmet clinical needs. Rodin was co-founded by Atlas Venture and Proteros Biostructures, with financing from the Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC).

About Atlas Venture

Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage international venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences businesses. Since inception in 1980, its partners have helped build over 350 companies in more than 16 different countries. Atlas Venture is currently investing from its ninth fund which closed in May 2013. For more information, visit www.atlasventure.com.

About Proteros

Proteros, Martinsried/Munich, is a privately held company, which provides a leading platform to support protein structure accelerated drug discovery. Proteros has established unique and best in class technologies for protein crystallography, kinetic and thermodynamic profiling and tailor made protein production. Proteros provides services to more than 80 pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information visit www.proteros.com.

 

Management Team

Acting Chief Executive Officer
Bruce Booth, DPhil
Bruce Booth is a Partner at Atlas Venture. He currently serves on the boards of Bicycle Therapeutics, and ProtAffin Biotechnologie, and was previously on the boards of past Atlas companies Avila Therapeutics (acquired by Celgene), Stromedix (acquired by Biogen), Prestwick (acquired by Biovail), and Proprius (acquired by Cypress Biosciences). Prior to joining Atlas in 2005, Bruce was an investor with Caxton Health Holdings and before that, a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he helped to build the Pharma R&D practice.

As a British Marshall Scholar, Bruce received a D.Phil. (PhD) in molecular immunology from Oxford University. His work focused on the study of HIV and tumor immune responses. He received a BS in biochemistry, summa cum laude, from The Pennsylvania State University. Bruce enjoys fly fishing, skiing, snowboarding, and running. He lives in Wellesley, MA with his wife and three wonderful kids.

Acting Chief Business Officer
Ankit Mahadevia, MD
Ankit Mahadevia is a Venture Partner at Atlas Venture. Prior to joining Atlas in 2008, Ankit worked on product and business development with the founding team at Arcion Therapeutics. He has also held positions in business development both at Genentech and at Vanda Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he worked in the health care groups of McKinsey & Company and Monitor Group. Ankit began his career in health care policy, with roles in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committees, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS).

At Atlas, Ankit has led or contributed to formation of Nimbus Discovery, Arteaus Therapeutics (Acting Chief Business Officer), Annovation Biopharma (BOD, Acting Chief Business Officer), RaNA Therapeutics (BOD, Acting Chief Business Officer), Spero Therapeutics, and Rodin Therapeutics. He is currently Acting Chief Business Officer of Rodin Therapeutics.

Ankit received an MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He received a BA in economics and biology, with honors, from Northwestern University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

Ankit was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Council of the NIH Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. He also serves on the board of the Johns Hopkins Alliance for Technology Transfer, through which he promotes translation of biomedical research by biotechnology companies.
Ankit lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.

Chief Scientific Officer
Martin Jefson, PhD
Trained as an organic chemist, Marty did his thesis work with Professor Jerrold Meinwald at Cornell University and received his PhD in 1982. Immediately after receiving his degree, Marty joined Pfizer Central Research in Groton CT where he spent the next 27 years. For the first 12 of these years, Marty worked in the Veterinary Medicine Discovery Chemistry group and is co-inventor of the fluoroquinolone antibacterial danofloxacin mesylate (Advocin), which is approved for use in the US and worldwide for the treatment of respiratory disease in cattle and poultry. In 1994, Marty moved to the CNS Discovery Research group as a Manager of Medicinal Chemistry, and held numerous managerial positions of increasing responsibility over the next 15 years. In 2001 Marty was named the head of CNS Discovery Research for Groton, and in 2007 he was appointed the head of CNS Research for Pfizer. Between 1994 and 2009, more than 40 development candidates were discovered by teams that Marty lead or managed, including many prototype molecules with novel mechanisms of action. Many of these compounds are still active in development, and one of them, the nicotinic receptor partial agonist varenicline (Chantix), is approved worldwide as an aid to smoking cessation. Since leaving Pfizer in 2009, Marty has worked as a pharmaceutical research consultant, supporting the efforts of several venture capital partnerships and more than 20 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Board of Directors

Bruce Booth, Partner, Atlas Venture
Marian Nakada, PhD; Vice President, Johnson and Johnson Development Corporation
Marian Nakada, PhD, Vice President, Venture Investments, joined Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) in 2013. She is based in Boston, MA.

Previously, Dr. Nakada was Vice President of Strategy & Operations and External Innovation for Johnson & Johnson’s Biotechnology CoE, where she helped drive the development and execution of the biotechnology strategy across Janssen R & D. In her role as External Innovation lead, she nurtured many productive partnerships with external partners in the biotech industry and helped build an external innovation network to complement internal research and support the execution of the Janssen R&D Biologics strategy.

Dr. Nakada joined Centocor in 1990, as a scientist, performing basic research related to biologics for inflammatory and cardiovascular indications. In 2001, she took on the leadership of the newly formed Oncology Research group at Centocor. In 2007, Dr. Nakada joined the Business Development group where she participated in executing technology licenses for the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals group. In that role, she identified and championed external technology opportunities to ensure that Centocor’s technologies were competitive with the industry.

Dr. Nakada has authored 62 peer reviewed publications and 14 book chapters and reviews. She has a BA in Biology from Harvard College and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Torsten Neuefeind, Ph.D.; CEO, Co-founder Proteros
As one of the company founders, Dr. Neuefeind became the CEO in 1998 following the writing of an award winning (McKinsey & Co) business plan for Proteros. He gained industrial and academic research experience in the field of protein structure analysis at Bayer AG and the Max-Planck-Institutes for Biochemistry, Martinsried. He received a Ph.D. in the area of X-ray protein crystallography on drug targets under the supervision of Prof. Robert Huber. Dr. Neuefeind studied chemistry at the Universities of Marburg and Freiburg, Germany.

Contact

For more information, please contact:

Ankit Mahadevia,
Acting Chief Business Officer

25 First St #303
Cambridge MA
Email: ankit@atlasventure.com