Conectus Alsace has announced the signature of a contract for the co-development of the DiabetAlms project with biotechnology company PEP-Therapy.
DiabetAlms is an innovative new treatment for type-2diabetes
The company has developed a new therapeutic approach for controlling blood-sugar levels in type II diabetes patients by targeting adipocytes. This is a major breakthrough for these patients as no similar treatment currently exists. The therapeutic process should also relieve side-effects associated with less specific therapies.
Conectus Alsace is investing over €400,000 in this project, run by Vincent Marion, deputy head of the Medical Genetics Laboratory of Strasbourg (UMRS_ 1112; Unistra-Inserm ; Institut de Génétique Médicale d’Alsace).
The co-development program is a win-win strategy for driving the value of the project and its transfer.
PEP-Therapy is a young, innovation-led biotech company founded in 2014, utilising research conducted by Inserm and the Institut Pierre et Marie Curie for developing targeted therapies for the treatment of severe diseases. It showed its interest in the potential of the DiabetAlms project and the co-development program put forward by Conectus Alsace.
This arrangement offers PEP-Therapy the opportunity to join the project in its earliest stages and to take part in the development of the technical program, by ensuring it is in line with pharmaceutical industry needs and by securing its future clinical positioning. The company will also be involved in designing and developing a new therapeutic peptide (CP&IP, Cell Penetrating and Interfering Peptide) for addressing the target identified by Vincent Marion and his Australian colleague, Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky of the University of Adelaide. PEP-Therapy also holds an exclusive licence option for the use of the candidate drugs and therefore has priority in continuing development following the maturation phase.
Over 50% of maturation projects undertaken in 2015 are co-development projects with industry.
Conectus Alsace’s prime aim is turning a public-sector “technology-push” project into a “market-pull” project in line with business needs. One of the main strategies for achieving this aim is co-development in technology maturation, which was launched in 2013. Under this scheme, a company can take part in establishing the maturation program at a very early stage to ensure the technical programs are in line with industry requirements. The company provides its expertise in determining technical program specifications and in return is granted a licence option giving it priority access to the technology. The partnership is a win-win formula designed to increase the value of the projects at the end of the maturation stage. The company can track and guide the maturation programme financed by Conectus Alsace, while the laboratory provides the programme’s industrial foundations. During the project, the partners form a strong, trust-based working relationship.
SATT-Conectus: official supplier of innovations
Conectus Alsace was the first SATT (accelerated technology transfer initiative) to be created in France, as part of the call for projects for the State-sponsored Investing in the Future programme. 100% financed by the French National Fund for Research, which comes under the National Research Agency, Conectus Alsace is run along the lines of a private-sector company.
The company’s work is based on investment in intellectual property, technology maturation and licensing, while it also markets its expertise in joint research and technology transfer programmes.
In 2015, SATT-Conectus underwent a State assessment to examine its future and to establish the 2nd funding tranche to be disbursed over the 3 following years. The assessment concluded that SATT-Conectus had achieved or exceeded its targets and the 2nd funding tranche was raised to €18 million for the period 2015 to 2017 to drive its development strategy.