San Francisco-based life-science investment firm Versant Ventures announced the formation of Jecure Therapeutics, a San Diego-based biotech company with a locally developed liver disease platform.
Versant said Feb. 15 it is the sole investor in a $20 million, Series A commitment in Jecure.
The new company’s founding team includes CEO Jeffrey Stafford and CSO James Veal, both senior managers of Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, a cancer company Versant founded and which sold in 2015 to San Diego-based Celgene Corp.
Jecure’s platform includes tests and models developed by Dr. Ariel Feldstein, division chief of gastroenterology at the University of California, San Diego. Feldstein has been named to the new company’s scientific advisory board.
The company’s platform has generated programs for treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis. Besides Feldstien, others on Jecure’s scientific advisory board are leading investigators and researchers in the fields of NASH and fibrosis.