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Peptides for immunology and immuno-oncology
April 2016
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author
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STRASBOURG, France—With the ink barely dry on the press release announcing the deal, and the company website still under construction, PeptiMimesis has launched development of a novel class of therapeutic peptides using a breakthrough technology from the University of Strasbourg and Inserm (the French Institute of Health and Medical Research). PeptiMimesis will now apply this cutting-edge approach to a first set of 60 targets, including the most promising in the chosen therapeutic areas.
 
PeptiMimesis was founded by three academic researchers, each having more than 15 years of experience in the field of transmembrane peptides, and was co-founded by Domain Therapeutics, a drug discovery company with a long and successful track record in targeting membrane receptors. Over the past two years, the tech transfer office SATT Conectus supported the team to develop the technology up to the proof of concept.
 
“This new venture highlights the quality of the incubation phase conducted by SATT Conectus and the high standard of research carried out by the University of Strasbourg and Inserm,” said Pascal Neuville, CEO of Domain Therapeutics.
 
“The creation of PeptiMimesis is the culmination of many years of work developing our technology,” said Dr. Dominique Bagnard, founder. “With my two long-standing collaborators and co-founders, Dr. Gérard Crémel and Dr Pierre Hubert, we are pleased to partner with Domain Therapeutics to develop our research and launch PeptiMimesis on the road to success.”
 
“Domain Therapeutics is ideally positioned to help bridge the gap between a breakthrough technology developed by a nascent company and the expectations of pharma partners. We strongly believe that our expertise will allow PeptiMimesis’ platform to deliver promising and valuable peptides to answer patient needs,” said Neuville.
 
There are more than 60 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved peptide medicines currently on the market. This is expected to grow significantly, with approximately 140 peptide drugs in clinical trials and more than 500 therapeutic peptides in preclinical development. In terms of value, the global peptide drug market is predicted to increase from $14.1 billion (€12.1 billion) in 2011 to an estimated $25.4 billion (€22.7 billion) in 2018, with an underlying increase in novel innovative peptide drugs from $8.6 billion (€7.7 billion) in 2011 (60 percent) to $17.0 billion (€15.2 billion) in 2018 (66 percent).
 
Peptides possess key competitive advantages over antibodies, such as a faster drug discovery process and  reduced manufacturing cost. In addition, the novel class of peptides developed by PeptiMimesis presents lower immunogenicity as they rapidly set within cellular membranes. The peptides also demonstrate an amplified therapeutic efficacy through indirect inhibition of multiple co-receptors and their associated signalling pathways. This innovative approach relies on the disruption of dimerization of membrane receptors using peptides that interfere with the transmembrane sites of oligomerization.
 
Earlier in March, specialist pharma company Ipsen began partnering with PeptiMimesis to develop and market novel therapeutic peptides in oncology. Ipsen aims to combine its expertise in peptide design and development with PeptiMimesis' knowledge in the identification of transmembrane peptides and intracellular signalling. The target receptor is involved in different phases of cancer development, including angiogenesis, immune tolerance and proliferation.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsen and PeptiMimesis will work closely together to move the project forward towards clinical development. PeptiMimesis will receive financial support from Ipsen for the research phases, as well as milestone payments associated with the program. If the option is exercised, Ipsen could make further potential payments to PeptiMimesis at development, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments on worldwide annual net sales.
 
PeptiMimesis is a spin-off project from Inserm and Strasbourg University, funded by SATT Conectus Alsace. The company was created in October 2015.
 
Code: E041607

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