European Eurostars funding received for epigenetics program NSD2
December 03, 2015
> European funding awarded to the €4.8 million budget of EMTherapy consortium
> Development of a research program to build a world-class European epigenetics platform
Daix (France), December 3, 2015 – Inventiva, a biopharmaceutical company specialised in transcription factors and epigenetics for innovative therapies within the fields of fibrosis, oncology and orphan diseases, today announces a grant has been obtained by the EMTherapy consortium under the Eurostars program to cover part of the €4.8 million budget. Eurostars supports highly innovative SMEs involved in international collaborative schemes such as EMTherapy’s epigenetics project.
EMTherapy is a consortium bringing together Inventiva and two other European biotechnological companies – 4SC in Germany and Oryzon Genomics in Spain. The project aims to develop epigenetic targets-inhibiting compounds, particularly in oncology, and to build a world-class epigenetics platform in Europe.
Frédéric Cren, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Inventiva, comments: “This European grant covers a significant share of the EMTherapy consortium budget and testifies of our technology model’s prevalence in epigenetics, one of the most promising areas of research in oncology. Following the funding received from the highly selective French national research agency for our Epicure partnership with the Institut Curie, Inventiva is now establishing itself as a European leader in epigenetics application within the development of new cancer therapies.”
Inventiva’s role in EMTherapy focuses on NSD2 epigenetic target, which is responsible for oncogenesis in an aggressive form of multiple myeloma affecting 15 to 20% of the 114,000 patients1 contracting this cancer every year. Inventiva has confirmed the role of NSD2 in a human cancer cell model and established its potential as a therapeutic target. Based on the use of its proprietary molecule library, the company has also identified drug-like molecules that are able to inhibit NSD2 activity. These compounds are currently being optimised by Inventiva’s chemistry teams ahead of demonstrating in vivo ;proof of concept.
Epigenetics is one of the most promising therapeutic approaches in oncology. In 2000, only 250 publications were registered in the field. Ten years later, 1,500 are published every year. Epigenetics studies the mechanisms involved in genes regulation, which are essential for cells in preserving their identity. Numerous epigenetic mechanisms cause genetic disorders, leading to abnormal activation of genes and the onset of cancer. The epigenetic alterations observed in a tumour include histone methylation and acetylation as well as direct DNA methylation.
International Agency for Research on Cancer, GLOBOCAN 2012 database. Available from:http://globocan.iarc.fr
Lanifibranor, its lead product, is an anti-fibrotic treatment acting on the three alpha, gamma and delta PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors), which play key roles in controlling the fibrotic process. Its anti-fibrotic action targets two initial indications with substantial unmet medical need: NASH, a severe and increasingly prevalent liver disease already affecting over 30 million people in the United States, and systemic sclerosis, a disease with a very high mortality rate and for which there is no approved treatment to date.
Inventiva is also developing a second clinical program with odiparcil (IVA 336) for the treatment of patients with mucopolysaccaridosis type VI (or Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome), a rare and severe gene disease affecting children. Odiparcil has also the potential to address other MPS types, characterized by the accumulation of chondroitin or dermatan sulfate (MPS I or Hurler/Sheie syndrome, MPS II or Hunter syndrome, MPS IVa or Morquio syndrome and MPS VII or Sly syndrome). Inventiva is also developing a portfolio of early research projects in the field of oncology.
Inventiva benefits from partnerships with world-leading research entities such as the Institut Curie in the field of oncology. Two strategic partnerships have also been established with world-class major pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim in the fields of autoimmune diseases (specifically in psoriasis) and fibrosis respectively. These partnerships provide milestone payments to Inventiva upon the achievement of pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, in addition to royalties on the products resulting from the partnerships.
Inventiva employs over 100 employees and owns R&D facilities near Dijon, acquired from the international pharmaceutical group Abbott. The Company owns, a proprietary chemical library of over 240,000 molecules as well as integrated biology, chemistry, ADME and pharmacology platforms.
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