Lyon and Illkirch-Graffenstaden, September 10, 2015
ElsaLys Biotech announced today that the FUI (Fonds Unique Interministériel – Single Interministerial Fund) has granted a 1.57 million euros subsidy to the TYROMAB (TYROsine kinase receptor Monoclonal AntiBody) project. Led by a consortium headed by ElsaLys Biotech, this project seeks to validate and industrially produce an anti-TYRO3 antibody candidate for the treatment of leiomyosarcoma and metastatic bladder cancer. This should lead to two products: a candidate drug with an original mechanism of action in oncology and a new production system reducing monoclonal antibody production costs. Original in terms of its form and substance, this project provides a response to a twofold public health challenge: speeding up the development of new therapeutic antibodies against cancers and reducing their price, which notably entails decreasing their production cost.
These two products should hit the market 3 to 5 years after the start of the FUI project for the drug candidate (sale of an exclusive license to a biopharmaceutical laboratory) and at the end of the collaborative project for the bioproduction system, i.e. at the end of the year 2018.
The TYROMAB project has received labels jointly from two competitiveness clusters – Alsace BioValley and Lyonbiopôle – and receives support from the French government, Europe’s ERDF fund, the Rhône-Alpes Region, the Alsace Region, Strasbourg Eurométropole, Lyon la Métropole and Grenoble–Alpes Métropole. It is supported by a consortium made up of two industrial stakeholders – ElsaLys Biotech and PX’Therapeutics, the Aguettant pharmaceuticals group’s bioproduction subsidiary – as well as a world-renowned cancer care and research center, Centre Léon Bérard.
For this, the TYROMAB project can take advantage of the experience of PX’Therapeutics which, for this project, is designing and developing a new royalty-free production system for therapeutic proteins. PX’Therapeutics will thus have a highly distinctive line of products, sharply reducing development costs for drugs and facilitating entry into clinical use. It is based on lower structural costs (volume capacity limited to 200 L), a technology based on a new cellular tool that avoids licensing costs and royalties for the cell lines it develops, and recognized expertise in the development of lines and bioproduction processes.
The TYROMAB project’s ambition is also to develop an original therapeutic antibody: anti-TYRO3. ElsaLys Biotech has already generated a panel of antibodies that are able to target this receptor, which is overexpressed in several cancers. In its final format, the anti-TYRO3 antibody could combine 2 mechanisms of action that both:
Two indications will be assessed to obtain clinical proof of concept for this antibody: leiomyosarcoma, one of the research subjects of choice for Pr. Jean-Yves BLAY, internationally recognized sarcoma specialist and current Director General of Centre Léon Bérard (CLB), and metastatic bladder cancer, as part of a research program initiated and directed by Dr. Isabelle BERNARD-PIERROT and Dr. François RADVANYI of the Institut Curie. These two indications were selected based on the proofs of concept previously obtained by the Institut Curie and Centre Léon Bérard, medical needs, clinical feasibility, opportunities for international collaborations and the accessibility of related markets.
"The financing obtained and the excellence of the partners in the TYROMAB consortium have enabled us to speed up the development of our anti-TYRO3 program,”said Dr. Christine GUILLEN, CEO and co-founder of ElsaLys Biotech.“TYROMAB is a perfect fit for our company’s long-term strategy. We have signed a licensing option with the Institut Curie, which holds the patent for the target in the bladder cancer indication. A three-year collaboration has been under way since the creation of ElsaLys Biotech to test the antibodies developed in murine models of this disease and we plan to find an industrial partner for support on the clinical development of the candidate antibody that comes out of this research.”
“Our company wants to provide its customers with a line of products to speed up the preclinical and clinical development of new biopharmaceuticals. This entails being able to produce therapeutic proteins on an industrial scale at a low price by developing expression systems with high productivity, without licenses or royalties,” stated Dr. Eric ROUGEMOND, CEO of PX’Therapeutics and the Aguettant group. “The TYROMAB project will therefore be based on this novel line of products as well as on the great expertise at PX’Therapeutics in the field of developing bioproduction processes. It is a perfect fit for our company’s development strategy dedicated to meeting the quality and competitiveness requirements of our customers, whether major groups or young biopharmaceutical companies.”
Pr. Jean-Yves BLAY added, “We are very pleased to take an active part in the development of an anti-TYRO3 therapeutic antibody whose double mechanism of action is very promising. We are also delighted, of course, to work on a project that seeks to make the production of clinical batches of therapeutic antibodies more accessible to drug developers and, at the end of the day, to participate in bringing down the cost of treatment.”