Transgene Announces its Invesment in Elsalys Biotech, a New Antibody Company Created by Former Executives
The start-up company will develop therapeutic antibodies against novel targets in the fields of cancer and inflammation
Strasbourg, France, May 17, 2013 — Transgene SA (Euronext Paris: TNG), a biopharmaceutical company that develops targeted immunotherapy products to treat major unmet medical needs in cancer and chronic infectious diseases, today announced its participation to the first private equity round of Elsalys Biotech, a newly created therapeutic monoclonal antibody player.
With more than 40 marketed products and 250 products under development, monoclonal antibodies are more than ever at the heart of the new arsenal of therapeutics for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Nevertheless, even though the production of monoclonal antibodies has become standardized, the generation of an effective antibody with an optimal profile remains a scientific challenge which requires to bring together unique skills, all present within the ElsaLys Biotech team.
In the short term, ElsaLys Biotech will focus on the development of antibodies against targets from academic collaborators up to characterized drug candidates with robust in vivo proof of concept. Clinical development will be conducted through strategic partnerships.
Other investors are the investment firm Sofimac Partners and the founding managers. Sofimac Partners and Transgene are the largest shareholders, although each with a minority holding.
"Transgene is going through a significant investment program in TG4010, a therapeutic vaccine, and Pexa-Vec, an oncolytic immunotherapy. Through our equity investment in ElsaLys Biotech, we keep a stand in the promising field of monoclonal antibodies without changing our strategic focus." said Philippe Archinard, Chairman and CEO of Transgene.
"Our objective is to bring a first antibody drug candidate to IND enabling studies within the next three years" said Dr. Jean-Yves Bonnefoy, co-founder and CEO of ElsaLys Biotech. He added: “"o reach this goal, we benefit from the following competitive advantages: expertise and know-how in the field of immunotherapy acquired at Transgene, a solid experience in the domain of therapeutic antibodies, a very promising set of first-in-class targets as well as funding from investors combining strong technological expertise and financial means".
Transgene (NYSE-Euronext: TNG), a member of the Institut Mérieux Group, is a biopharmaceutical company. We create, develop and manufacture targeted immunotherapeutics for the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases. Our products are major technological breakthroughs that use well tolerated viruses to indirectly or directly kill infected or cancerous cells. Our four most advanced products have generated proof of concept data in randomized clinical studies: in lung cancer (TG4010), liver cancer (Pexa-Vec), hepatitis C (TG4040) and HPV-related cervical lesions (TG4001). We have concluded strategic agreements for the development of three of these products: an option agreement with Novartis for the development of TG4010, an in-licensing agreement with US-based Jennerex, Inc. to develop and market Pexa-Vec and a strategic collaboration with EORTC to develop TG4001 in cancer of the oropharynx. We also have a non-exclusive agreement with Sanofi/Genzyme for the future commercial production of our products. Most of our 280 employees are based in Strasbourg, France, and we have operations in Lyon, China and the USA. Additional information about Transgene is available at www.transgene.fr.
About ElsaLys Biotech:
ElsaLys Biotech is an R&D start-up positioned at the interface of academic research and the pharmaceutical industry. Its mission is to convert first-in-class therapeutic targets into exploitable drug candidates. Today, the portfolio of ElsaLys Biotech is composed of 4 novel projects issued from well-known academic groups and partners such as EFS, Curie Institute, Tumor Institute of Turin and SATT-Sud Est.
Based in Lyon & Illkirch Graffenstaden, ElsaLys Biotech will benefit from unique fertile environments within the clusters Lyon Biopole & Alsace BioValley, for the development of biotech companies.
About Sofimac Partners:
Sofimac Partners is a France-based investment management partnership that accompanies the growth of private small and medium businesses in the medium and long terms, thanks to a broad panel of investment vehicles suited to all stages of development of the companies (creation, initial development, capital growth and transmission, recovery). Since 1977, over 360 SMBs in a variety of technology and general sectors have thus been accompanied by a team of experienced investors. With its network of institutional and private subscribers, amongst which CDC Enterprise, Sofimac Partners presently managers 230 million euros of assets, through 18 funds, invested in 109 companies. www.sofimacpartners.com
Philippe Archinard, Chairman & CEO, +33 (0)3 88 27 91 22
Stéphane Boissel, Executive Vice President & CFO, +33 (0)3 88 27 91 02
Elisabetta Castelli, Director IR, +33 (0)3 88 27 91 21
Raimund Gabriel, +49 89 210 228 30
Shaun Brown, +44 207 148 5998
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