4P-Pharma has signed an exclusive license agreement with Aquitaine Science Transfert, for the development of a drug targeting pancreatic cancer, triple negative breast cancer or colon cancer. The molecule was first developed and patented by researchers from the laboratory of Angiogenesis and Cancer Microenvironment (LAMC – University of Bordeaux / Inserm).
This signature materializes the technology transfer process managed by Inserm Transfert and the SATT Aquitaine. The funding for the project maturation amounts to 375 k€ over a 3-year time frame.
After several years of research, the team from the Angiogenesis and Cancer Microenvironment Laboratory (LAMC – University of Bordeaux / Inserm) generated a peptide with the capacity to slow cancer tumor growth by inhibiting apelin’s activity. This discovery is the object of patent protection on behalf of Inserm and University of Bordeaux.
Through apelin, this peptide acts on a new tumor angiogenesis pathway, different from the one targeted by existing anti-angiogenic drugs on the market. Acting on this new tumor angiogenesis pathway should improve current treatments for refractory patients or for patients resistant to current anti-angiogenics.
4P-Pharma will thus focus on completing preclinical and early clinical drug development phases before transferring the technology to a big-pharma company, which will ensure the drug market access (completion of late phase clinical trials and marketing authorization) and commercialization.
“We are delighted that our ongoing partnership with SATT Aquitaine Science Transfert materializes with the signature of this exclusive license agreement. The innovative medical technology issued from the apelin project addresses unmet needs for certain types of cancers. Our next step is to conduct preclinical studies to bring, as quickly as possible, this peptide to the clinic.” Revital Rattenbach, CEO of 4P- Pharma declares.
This signature occurs after SATT Aquitaine has allocated EUR 375 000, over a three-year period, for the maturation of this project, starting May 2015.
“Our project aims to characterize a compound in a new class of anti-angiogenic drugs that could become a ‘first in class’ drug candidate. To bring such a molecule on the market is not simple, because convincing pharmaceutical industries to invest in the early development stages is not easy. We therefore rely on intermediate Biotechnology companies that will drive these molecules from an early to a late development stage, possibly including manufacturing, before selling them to a Big Pharma. This is what we sought by partnering early on, during our proof of concept phase, with 4P-Pharma. This company has a CRO-like business model, and can also invest in clinical development projects. We welcome this partnership, and hope that our joint efforts will lead this promising molecule to the anti-cancer drug market” says Jean-Luc Chagnaud, Head of Health Business Unit and Intellectual Property Director at Aquitaine Science Transfert.