Epsilen Bio Names Berretta as Chief Executive Officer and Simon as Chairman of the Board
18 June 2020 - - Italian biotechnology company Epsilen Bio has appointed Julia Berretta, Ph.D, as chief executive officer, and Mathieu Simon, M.D., as chairman of the board, the company said.

The company also announced it has entered into a strategic collaboration with the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), a world-renowned research center devoted to gene therapy, directed by Professor Luigi Naldini.

Within the collaboration Epsilen Bio will further develop the epigenetic silencing technology with the group of Epigenetic Regulation and Targeted Genome Editing led by Dr. Angelo Lombardo, and exclusively in-licensed by Epsilen Bio.

The announcements follow the successful close of a seed financing of EUR 2.3m from Sofinnova Partners, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, through the Sofinnova Telethon Fund.

The fund is the largest in Italy dedicated to early-stage biotech startups targeting cures for rare and genetic diseases.

Dr. Simon and Dr. Berretta join Board Members Paola Pozzi, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, Luca Guidotti, Deputy Scientific director of the IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, and Francesca Pasinelli, CEO of Fondazione Telethon and Board Observer.

Dr. Berretta is also CEO of Genespire, a gene therapy company that is part of a series of investments recently made by Sofinnova Partners. Additionally, she is an independent Board member of Treefrog Therapeutics, an innovative stem cell company.

Previously, Dr. Berretta was part of the Executive Committee of Cellectis S.A., a NASDAQ-listed clinical stage gene editing company developing CAR-T cell therapies for cancer, where she led business development as well as strategic planning.

Dr. Simon is chairman of the board of Idorsia and Independent Board Member of VAXIMM and Lysogene. He is also a member of the AFFIMED supervisory board.

Previously, Dr. Simon was chief operating officer of Cellectis SA and CEO of Cellectis Therapeutics. He was the former head of global pharma operations at Pierre Fabre and also held EU regional management roles and senior corporate functions at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Epsilen Bio is a biotechnology company developing transformative therapies for patients affected by underserved medical conditions, through stable and long-lasting epigenetic silencing of genes involved in pathological processes.

Based in Milan, Italy, Epsilen Bio was founded in December 2019 by the renowned gene therapy experts Dr. Angelo Lombardo and Prof. Luigi Naldini, as well as Fondazione Telethon and Ospedale San Raffaele.

Epsilen Bio is a spin-off of SR-Tiget, a cell and gene therapy research institute, and received seed funding from Sofinnova Partners.

Sofinnova Partners is a 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 US and Asia.

Based in Milan, Italy, the San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget) is a joint venture between the Ospedale San Raffaele and Fondazione Telethon.

SR-Tiget was established in 1995 to perform research on gene transfer and cell transplantation and translate its results into clinical applications of gene and cell therapies for different genetic diseases.

Fondazione Telethon is a non-profit organisation created in 1990 as a response to the appeals of a patient association group of stakeholders, who saw scientific research as the only real opportunity to effectively fight genetic diseases.

Ospedale San Raffaele is a clinical-research-university hospital established in 1971 to provide international-level specialised care for the most complex and difficult health conditions. OSR is part of Gruppo San Donato, the leading hospital group in Italy.