Lyon, 29 January 2019 – Theranexus (ALTHX) has been awarded a €6.2 million funding package through the Investments for the Future program (PIA), managed by Bpifrance (Structuring Research and Development Projects for Competitiveness, PSPC), supporting the development of the Neurolead program. Neurolead is coordinated by Theranexus, in collaboration with the Collège de France and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), with the aim of designing and industrializing a unique drug candidate identification and characterization platform targeting interactions between the two major brain cell populations, neurons and glial cells, for treating neurological disorders.
Neurological disorders currently affect nearly a billion people worldwide, and this figure is rising rapidly as the global population grows older. Neurological diseases are one of the leading causes of disability, with overall costs accounting for more than a third of global health expenditures.
The Neurolead Research and Development (R&D) program, spanning four years, aims to launch and industrialize a platform for generating new drug candidates based on a unique concept, the therapeutic targeting of interactions between glial and neuronal cells. Theranexus, the company behind this new therapeutic research approach to nervous system disorders, currently has three drug candidates in clinical development for four indications: narcolepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and neuropathic pain.
Neurolead, which leverages the latest innovations in neuroscience and AI tools, is designed to extend and systematize the therapeutic concept pursued by Theranexus by enhancing its therapeutic application capabilities. The platform also promises to optimize the medical value potential of drug candidates by integrating the identification and thorough assessment of medical needs from design through to development stages.
Franck Mouthon, Chairman of Theranexus: "This first-ever, groundbreaking integrated platform designed for the therapeutic targeting of all neuron-glia interactions should enhance Theranexus's value creation opportunities. We would like to wholeheartedly thank the French government and Bpifrance for the trust they showed in enabling us to develop and industrialize this unique neurological platform. The societal challenge that is neurological disease cannot be overstated and there are high market expectations for safer and more effective therapeutic solutions. We are very excited to conduct the Neurolead program alongside two of Theranexus' long-standing and world-renowned partners in the field, the Collège de France and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This program reaffirms our commitment to sustaining our technological edge through a strong scientific presence with first-rate academic partners."
Virginie Fontaine, Health Sector Manager within the Bpifrance Industrial Sectors Department: "We are very pleased to support the Neurolead platform's development program. Neurolead is an ambitious project that harnesses AI-powered ‘Deeptech', imaging and stem cell technologies to tackle a critical medical challenge constituting a genuine market opportunity. Theranexus and its partners have the outstanding skills and expertise to maximize the project's prospects for success."
Anne Flüry-Hérard, Director of the CEA's François Jacob Institute: "This success is proof of the value of setting up a dedicated translational research infrastructure in the neurosciences. Scientific expertise and technological resources were essential factors in the implementation of the Neurolead project, which benefits from this cutting-edge healthcare research and innovation ecosystem. We are delighted to be a part of the Neurolead project, alongside Theranexus and the Collège de France. The project, which offers hope for the future treatment of neuropathologies, reflects the need for us, as research organizations, to work together with our industrial partners."
"This far-reaching endeavor is a great opportunity to leverage our expertise in neuron and glial cell interactions as well as our know-how to explore the underlying mechanisms of action. We are eager to take part in this collaborative project alongside the CEA and Theranexus to provide innovative solutions to patients' needs," concludes Dr. Nathalie Rouach, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology.
About the Collège de France
The Collège de France is a public higher education institution that is unique in France and has no equivalent abroad. Since the sixteenth century, the Collège de France has fulfilled a dual role: to conduct the most ground-breaking research and to teach this. Dedicated to fundamental research, the Collège de France has the unique mission of “teaching knowledge in the making in every field of literature, the arts and sciences”. It works in partnership with the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and several other leading institutions. The Collège de France's Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB), a specific partner of the Neurolead program, occupies a prominent position across critical themes and research priorities, acting under the direction of Alain Prochiantz. Nathalie Rouach's team, actively committed to Neurolead, is an internationally acclaimed authority on such cellular interactions.
About the CEA et MIRCEN
A leading player in research, development and innovation recently named the most innovative public research organization in Europe (No. 2 worldwide) by Clarivate Analytics, the CEA is active in four areas: defense and security, low-carbon energies, technological research for industry and basic research. The CEA/MIRCen is a department within the François Jacob Institute of Biology headed by Dr. Philippe Hantraye, a member of the Neurolead project. This research facility, the only one of its kind in Europe, hosts researchers from a variety of organizations and carries out translational research on neurodegenerative diseases and develops innovative therapies in an optimal scientific, technological and methodological setting. The primary objective is to enhance the transfer of knowledge and technology from basic neuroscience research to clinical trials in patients with neurodegenerative disorders. MIRCen also oversees a National Infrastructure in Biology and Health (INBS), NeurATRIS, involving prestigious research centers in the Paris region.
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extrafinancial services (training, consultancy..). to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…).
For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and presse.bpifrance.fr - Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance - @BpifrancePresse
About the Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir (Future Investments Program)
With a budget of 57 billion euros, the Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir (PIA), led by the General Secretariat for Investment (SGPI), was set up by the State to finance innovative and promising investments in France. Six national priorities have thus been identified to enable France to increase its growth and employment potential:
- higher education, research and training,
- the development of research and its spin-off to the world of business,
- sustainable development,
- industry and SMEs,
- the digital economy,
- health and biotechnology.
The third component of the PIA, the PIA3, is part of the General Investment Plan (GPI) laid out by the French
prime minister on 25 September 2017.
To learn more about investments in the future: http://www.gouvernement.fr/secretariat-general-pour-l-investissement-sgpi Twitter: @SGPI_avenir
Theranexus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that emerged from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in 2013. It develops drug candidates for the treatment of nervous system diseases. Theranexus identified the key role played by non-neuronal cells (also known as “glial cells”) in the body's response to psychotropic drugs (which target the neurons). The company is a pioneer in the design and development of drug candidates affecting the interaction between neurons and glial cells. The unique, patented technology used by Theranexus is designed to improve the efficacy of psychotropic drugs already approved and on the market, by combining them with a glial cell modulator. This strategy of combining its innovations with registered drugs means Theranexus can significantly reduce development time and costs and considerably increase the chance of its drugs reaching the market.
The proprietary, adaptable Theranexus platform can generate different proprietary drug candidates offering high added-value for multiple indications.
Theranexus is listed on the Euronext Growth market in Paris (FR0013286259- ALTHX). : www.theranexus.com