After selling to Genentech, the old Jecure team is back at an RNA-focused startup — and more enthusiastic than ever

When Genentech swooped in to buy NASH-focused Jecure Therapeutics back in 2018, a handful of the startup’s executives weren’t quite ready to disperse.

It had been just three years since Jecure launched with a preclinical portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors — and the takeover came sooner than anyone, including CEO Jeff Stafford, had expected. So he got talking with James Veal and Gretchen Bain, two serial entrepreneurs in charge of Jecure’s R&D.

“We wanted to do something together again,” Stafford told Endpoints News. “All of us share a high enthusiasm for early stage drug discovery, and had some ideas.”

Jeff Stafford

A year later, they launched 858 Therapeutics — named after the San Diego area code — to focus on the burgeoning field of RNA modulation and the role it plays in cancer. Right away, they snapped up Gotham Therapeutics, a New York-based startup that…
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