Launching the next phase of company growth, a new Chief Medical Officer will head up clinical development of proprietary anti-iRhom2 antibodies with the support of accomplished scientists, life science executives, and financial experts.
Munich, Germany, November 18, 2021 – SciRhom GmbH, a therapeutic antibody developer, announced today the addition of Dr. Jürgen Reeß to the management team as Chief Medical Officer. At the same time, the company is strengthening its business and scientific strategy with the establishment of a Board of Directors. The three members of the Board, Prof. Carl Blobel, Dr. Wolfgang Baiker, and Mr. Hans-Ulrich Rabe, will be instrumental in steering the company along a successful path through the next phase of its development. In January 2022, Dr. Andreas Jenne, currently Chief Business Officer of SciRhom, will move from management and join the Board of Directors as a fourth member.
SciRhom has taken critical steps in advancing their first-in-class antibodies against iRhom2 towards clinical development. Proof-of-principle studies demonstrated preclinical efficacy of the drug candidates in protecting mice against rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The antibodies suppress iRhom2, thereby inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-alpha-convertase (TACE; also known as ADAM17), which conversely blocks several disease-causing signaling pathways. Achievement of this milestone also marks the beginning of the next stage in product development and company progress.
“SciRhom is an agile enterprise,” explains Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jens Ruhe. “As we move into this exciting new development phase, we’ve fine-tuned company structures to ensure that our ranks include top expertise to guarantee successful outcomes. We are in an extraordinary position to have such renowned and experienced partners join our efforts. Each member of our management team and our Board of Directors plays an indispensable role in swiftly moving our innovative therapy concept from our labs to patients with debilitating autoimmune diseases.”
Dr. Jürgen Reeß joins the corporate management team to guide the continued evolution of the therapeutic product and coordinate the company’s development pipelines focused on RA, IBD, and systemic lupus erythematosus glomerulonephritis. A trained physician with a medical and doctorate degree from the University of Ulm (Germany), Dr. Reeß has been a longstanding leader in the pharmaceutical industry. He has supervised the development, approval, and launch of numerous blockbuster therapies across several therapy areas, most recently as Corporate Senior Vice President of International Project Management at Boehringer Ingelheim Human Pharma.
The new Board of Directors will include SciRhom co-founder Prof. Carl Blobel, whose groundbreaking research laid the scientific foundation of SciRhom’s technology. Dr. Blobel is Professor of Medicine and of Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Chairman of the Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City (US). His in-depth knowledge of iRhom2 and TACE will guide the technological roadmap of the company and strengthen the scientific evolution of the product.
The second Board member, Dr. Wolfgang Baiker, is an internationally respected advisor and partner for multiple life science business projects. As Venture Partner at Wellington Partners Venture Fund, Dr. Baiker has leveraged his years-long experience as Board member and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim USA to help rising companies establish themselves in an international market. He is also an investor in SciRhom. Dr. Baiker fulfills a key role in shaping the corporate strategy to grow SciRhom’s organization and infrastructure.
Hans-Ulrich Rabe rounds off the new Board of Directors. A trusted advisor in strategic asset allocation and direct investment in high-potential biotech companies, Mr. Rabe represents a consortium of four private investors – SciRhom’s largest investment group. With strong business acumen and extensive experience in mentoring companies and fostering their development, Mr. Rabe brings a wealth of expertise in logistics, risk assessment, and finance management to fortify the company’s performance.
Having successfully secured seed funding for SciRhom as the Chief Business Officer, Dr. Andreas Jenne will move from corporate management to the Board of Directors in January 2022. A co-founder of SciRhom, Dr. Jenne has comprehensive knowledge of the company. His appointment to the Board of Directors aligns with the seamless transition of SciRhom from startup to product-oriented enterprise.
TACE (TNF-alpha converting enzyme or ADAM17) controls several major signaling pathways, including TNF-alpha, IL-6, and EGFR signaling. TACE has therefore been considered a potential target to block pro-inflammatory pathways, but direct inhibition of TACE causes severe side effects, such as skin and intestinal lesions. The recent discovery that iRhom2 (inactive Rhomboid 2, RHBDF2) simultaneously regulates the TACE-dependent release of TNF-alpha and of other pro-inflammatory molecules from immune cells provides the exciting opportunity to target the pro-inflammatory activities of TACE while preserving its protective functions. Furthermore, numerous new research studies suggest that iRhom2 is an attractive emerging target for a broad range of therapeutic areas, including immunology, inflammation, oncology, infectious and metabolic diseases.
About SciRhom GmbH
SciRhom GmbH, based in IZB Martinsried, Germany, is a biotech company that translates science into the preclinical and early clinical development of novel biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of life-threatening autoimmune diseases. Based on longstanding academic research and a well-established network of experts, SciRhom was founded in 2016 through a collaboration between academic and industry scientists with profound experience in antibody development. Since then, the company has developed first-in-class anti-iRhom2 antibodies and demonstrated efficacy in preclinical proof-of-principle studies. Four comprehensive patent families cover the anti-iRhom2 antibodies and iRhom2-target epitopes, securing exclusivity and protection against me-too drugs. To date, SciRhom has successfully acquired seed funding from the High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF) and private investors.
For further information, please visit www.SciRhom.com