Lyon, France – 10 February 2023 – 7.30am CET – Theranexus, Inria, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 and Hospices Civils de Lyon today announced the launch of the new public-private project team "AlstroSight". The project team aims to develop innovative digital methods to identify new drug candidates designed to treat brain diseases, in particular certain rare neurological disorders.
Harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence and digital simulation, AIstroSight seeks to develop in silico approaches capable of assisting and accelerating the identification of suitable therapeutic targets, and to improve understanding of the molecular and cellular processes involved in rare neurological diseases and their treatment. The team's strategy consists of consolidating available biomedical data (cell cultures, medical imaging, hospital data) into a single source of information that is large and consistent enough for efficient analysis by algorithms. Within this framework, AIstroSight will expand its field of research beyond neurons to include glial cells as well. Glial cells are brain cells that maintain neurons and regulate the processing of the information they transmit. AIstroSight will seek to identify potential therapeutic targets in neurons and astrocytes, a major subtype of glia.
Each partner within the public-private project team brings its own unique set of capabilities:
- Inria, via its expertise in in silico modeling, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence. This is particularly useful for the integration of data of different scales and its automatic analysis to identify candidate molecules, and for exploration of the mechanisms involved by biophysical simulation.
- Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 and Hospices Civils de Lyon for their medical expertise and neuroimaging capabilities, to further understanding of the impact and mechanisms of innovative targets in the brain. In particular, the AIstroSight project team will work closely with CERMEP's preclinical and clinical in vivo imaging core.
- Theranexus, for the cellular modeling of rare diseases, and the identification, characterization and development of drug candidates with its discovery platform.
This cooperation expands the existing partnership between Inria, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 and Hospices Civils de Lyon, which was constituted by a framework agreement concluded in December 2021, in a bid to help speed up the cross-fertilization between the digital sciences and medical research. The AlstroSight team established with Theranexus illustrates this strategic partnership by harnessing the biopharmaceutical company's expertise in the development of innovative drugs for neurological diseases. The project team, launched in January 2023, will be led over an initial 4-year period.
Franck Mouthon, Theranexus Executive Chairman: "We are delighted to have established a joint project research team with top-ranking partners. Research conducted by AlstroSight will enable us to identify and qualify novel targets as well as advanced therapy drug candidates to address the compelling, unmet needs of patients. The alliance and the ones we recently forged with our academic partners are perfectly in line with our development strategy and fuel the company's strong ambition to consolidate its positioning and portfolio in rare neurological diseases."
Bruno Sportisse, Inria Chairman and CEO: "A strategic priority for Inria is to make France a world leader in digital healthcare and more than 20% of our project teams strive to achieve this goal, with an outstanding record of research notably in in silico modeling, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence. This also involves ambitious initiatives like Paris Santé Campus, partnerships such as with Inserm, alongside the major research universities active in digital healthcare, with AP-HP, university hospitals, university hospital institutes, and industrial partners. This is what we are achieving here once again with the establishment of a joint project team with our partners Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, Hospices Civils de Lyon and the biopharmaceutical company Theranexus. Together we aim to accomplish major breakthroughs in the development of innovative drugs for neurological diseases."
Frédéric Fleury, President of Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 (UCBL): "The launch of AlstroSight is a major milestone for Claude Bernard University Lyon 1. UCBL and HCL have undertaken numerous value creation projects with industrial partners, but the development of a public-private partnership in association with Inria in the form of a recognized research team is the first of its kind for our institution. This collaboration reflects our collective goal to explore the field of digital healthcare in line with the eHealth Acceleration Strategy rolled out by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Health. This partnership combining complementary expertise illustrates the good dynamic and great synergy that exists between the different stakeholders on the Lyon site for the development of excellence in research and innovation in healthcare. Our wish is for the AlstroSight team to achieve innovative results that make a real improvement to the delivery of care for the population."
Raymond Le Moign, Director General of Hospices Civils de Lyon: "The AIstroSight team offers a unique concentration of skills in the field of orphan neurological indications, a strong field of interest for our clinicians and hospitals as well as for patients with rare neurological disorders. We are very pleased to have Theranexus in charge of the value creation aspect of the AIstroSight team's research. This is a new illustration of an innovative public-private partnership between major players operating within Lyon's research ecosystem."
Theranexus is an innovative biopharmaceutical company that emerged from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). It specializes in the treatment of central nervous system disorders and is a pioneer in the development of drug candidates targeting both neurons and glial cells.
The company has a unique platform for the identification and characterization of advanced therapy drug candidates targeting rare neurological disorders and an initial drug candidate in clinical development for Batten disease.
Theranexus is listed on the Euronext Growth market in Paris (FR0013286259- ALTHX).
Inria is the French national research institute for digital science and technology. World-class research, technological innovation and entrepreneurial risk are its DNA. In 200 project teams, most of which are shared with major research universities, more than 3,900 researchers and engineers explore new paths, often in an interdisciplinary manner and in collaboration with industrial partners to meet ambitious challenges.
As a technological institute, Inria supports the diversity of innovation pathways: from open source software publishing to the creation of technological startups (Deeptech). Inria has been awarded the Carnot Institute label, confirming its commitment to bringing together research and industry.
About Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University
Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 is the leading university for health research and education outside Paris with close to 47,000 students. For 50 years, the university has offered top-quality training programs closely linked with the cutting-edge research undertaken by its associate professors and researchers. With 79 research units and an annual publication volume of more than 5,500 articles, University Lyon 1 is considered a research-intensive university, helping to advance science in many different disciplines. The university is characterized by its strong commitment in the key research fields (sciences, technologies and health), its solid investment in technology cores – effective platforms for interaction and cooperation with industry, and its tremendous potential in digital technologies. With its outstanding achievements in innovation, it is the top-ranking French university for the joint filing of patents with businesses.
About Hospices Civils de Lyon
Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) is a group of 13 public hospitals, all driven by a triple mission: healthcare, research and education. Together, they form a community of 24,000 people, both medical and non-medical professionals, who share a single vocation: to treat and care for all patients throughout their entire life, regardless of their situation or condition. From delivery of care to the treatment of disease, and in collaboration with all healthcare professionals in the Lyon area, HCL place research at the heart of their approach to respond to the latest medical advances and anticipate the therapeutic challenges of tomorrow. As France's second largest university hospital, they support and train medical and non-medical staff within their 11 schools and institutes.
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This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Theranexus and its business, including its prospects and product candidate development. Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that Theranexus considers to be reasonable. However, there can be no assurance that the estimates contained in such forward-looking statements will be verified, which estimates are subject to numerous risks including the risks set forth in the universal registration document of Theranexus filed with the AMF on 28 April 2021 under number D.21-0379 (a copy of which is available on www.theranexus.com) and to the development of economic conditions, financial markets and the markets in which Theranexus operates. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to risks not yet known to Theranexus or not currently considered material by Theranexus. The occurrence of all or part of such risks could cause actual results, financial conditions, performance or achievements of Theranexus to be materially different from such forward-looking statements. Theranexus expressly declines any obligation to update such forward-looking statements.