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Jun 5, 2012

Erytech, ExonHit Share €8.9M Initial OSEO Funding for Enzyme Depletion Anticancer Project

  • The French public funding body OSEO awarded Erytech Pharma €6.95 million (about $8.66 million), and Exonhit another €1.93 million (about $2.41 million), in support of an Erytech-led collaboration that aims to develop enzymatic treatments for chemo- and radio-resistant cancers, and associated companion diagnostics to identify responders. The Tedac (therapeutic enzymes to deplete amino acids to treat cancers resistant to radio/chemotherapy) project will include collaborators at InGen BioSciences AP-HP (Paris Public Hospitals), Inserm, and Paris-Diderot University. Total funding for the consortium is expected to reach about €10.7 million, and is being made through the OSEO’s Strategic Industrial Innovation (ISI) program, which supports industry-academia collaborations focused on commercializing new products and technologies.

    Erytech’s approach to cancer therapy is based on starving tumors of essential amino acids required for tumor growth.The Tedac partners aim to develop an enzymatic treatment that can be adjusted according to individual tumor characteristics, generate an accompanying biomarker-based companion diagnostic to identify responders, and devise a monitoring test for quickly measuring therapeutic enzyme action in real time over the course of treatment. “This project is a key step in the implementation of our strategy in personalized medicine,” notes Pierre-Olivier Goineau, Erytech CEO. “We will offer a new way of fighting cancers by better profiling the patients and offering up to four complementary products to fight cancer by well-targeted and prolonged depletion of specific amino acids from the tumor environment.”

    Exonhit’s role in the project will center on exploiting its Genome Wide SpliceArray™ (GWSA) technology to identify biomarkers of susceptibility to therapeutic response and develop a companion diagnostic. “This project is a new opportunity for the company to implement its expertise in the development of companion diagnostics,” comments Loïc Maurel, Exonhit CEO. “The financial support of OSEO will also enable us to move toward solutions better adapted to the commercialization of diagnostics developed using our GWSA technology.”

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