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ElsaLys Biotech expands its rights on CD160

Having acquired in June 2015 the assets of CD160 in the field of ophthalmology, ElsaLys Biotech strengthens its intellectual property and signs an exclusive worldwide license in the field of oncology.

Thanks to the unique properties of this receptor, ElsaLys Biotech will conduct different antibody programs in these two therapeutic areas.

ElsaLys Biotech, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of "best-in-disease" therapeutic antibodies for oncology and ophthalmology, announces today the signing with Inserm Transfert of an exclusive worldwide license on the CD160 receptor. This agreement strengthens the rights of the company on this multiple-property target, allowing it to conduct simultaneously three antibodies programs in oncology and ophthalmology.

Discovered by Dr Armand BENSUSSAN (Director of the Centre for Skin Research, Inserm UMR 976, University Paris Diderot, Saint-Louis Hospital) and Dr Philippe Le Bouteiller (Centre for Pathophysiology Toulouse-Purpan, Inserm UMR 1043 CNRS 5282 UMR University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier), the CD160 receptor is involved in 1) neoangiogenesis regulation; 2) controlling the activity of tumour killer lymphocytes (NK and T); and 3) over-expressed on the surface of only mature tumour B-cell.

These multiple properties led ElsaLys Biotech to engage in three development programs: 

  • Anti-angiogenic antibodies to counteract pathological vascular proliferation causing eye diseases such as macular degeneration or retinitis.
  • "Immune checkpoint inhibitors" (ICPI) to stimulate the innate and adaptive immune response in multiple indications of cancer.
  • Targeted antibodies to eliminate selectively tumour cells in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia.


"Accelerate, with our industry partners, the development of discoveries in the Inserm laboratories is the core of our action," said Dr Pascale Augé, CEO of Inserm Transfert. "The knowledge and expertise of ElsaLys Biotech in translational research and the development of therapeutic antibodies, as well as its proximity to fundamental research and the clinic, give us solid coverage in the field."

Dr Jacques MIZRAHI, Scientific Director of ElsaLys Biotech, added: "ElsaLys Biotech intends to exploit the full potential of CD160, i.e. its ability to modulate both angiogenesis and immunity. Using this single target, we initiated three programs based on various antibody formats, including new "ambidextrous" antibodies such as bispecifics. The goal is to rapidly bring a first program to clinic and improve the positioning of our products. To do so, we will evaluate the efficacy and safety of these antibodies in different cancers, alone and in combination."

Dr Christine GUILLEN, CEO and co-founder of ElsaLys Biotech, commented: "For a biopharmaceutical company like ours, CD160 is a perfect target, offering a large number of opportunities that are based on a strong scientific rational and main therapeutic needs. We will rapidly select a first drug candidate in age-related macular degeneration."