Lausanne, Switzerland and Nantes, France, May 22, 2006 – The Debiopharm Group, an independent global drug development company specialising in oncology and serious medical conditions, and TcLand S.A., a French biopharmaceutical company specialising in the development of immunological biomarkers and therapeutic molecules to control organ transplant rejection and immune disorders, announced the signature of an exclusive in-licensing option agreement for the development of the fusion protein sc28AT, a CD28 antagonist in preclinical development. Sc28AT may block graft rejection as well as the initiation and development of autoimmune diseases, while keeping the body’s natural regulatory mechanisms.
Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm will invest equity into TcLand and fund the research and development (R&D) of sc28AT conducted by TcLand up to an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. Upon exercise of its exclusive option to in-license the molecule, Debiopharm will fully manage and fund further development activities of sc28AT, up to at least completion of phase II before out-licensing to sales and marketing partners. TcLand will also receive milestone payments, as well as royalties based on Debiopharm’s revenues from worldwide sales.
CD28 is a co-stimulatory receptor expressed at the surface of T cells. sc28AT offers selective immunosuppressive activities, which may block unwanted T cell activation, as seen in graft rejection and certain autoimmune diseases. This fusion protein can shut down the positive co-stimulation pathway in T cells, while preserving the negative co-stimulation pathway.
“Apart from the innovative mechanism of action of sc28AT that makes it an exciting therapeutic approach for the treatment of organ transplantation and autoimmmune diseases, the excellent collaboration between the scientific teams at TcLand and Debiopharm gives us great confidence in this project,” said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and CEO of Debiopharm.
“We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Debiopharm. The strong drug development expertise of Debiopharm will provide the impetus to progress sc28AT towards market approval,” said Marina Guillet, CEO of TcLand.
“TcLand’s portfolio of products opens up new possibilities in personalised medicine in providing better diagnosis as well as control of organ transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases. This partnership with Debiopharm is a new milestone in the business strategy we have been pursuing since our inception,” added Alain Huriez, MD, chairman and co-founder of TcLand.
About Debiopharm S.A.
Founded in 1979 in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm S.A. is an experienced and competent drug development company that in-licenses compounds with promising in-vivo results to develop for global registration and to out-license to sales and marketing pharmaceutical partners.
The Debiopharm Group provides biopharmaceutical development expertise and know-how from the evaluation of early-stage and innovative research, partnering, financing, pre-clinical and clinical trials, to manufacturing and sophisticated drug-delivery systems.
Debiopharm S.A. has developed and registered three products with combined sales in excess of $2.2bn in 2005: Eloxatin®, one of sanofi-aventis’ leading marketed products; Decapeptyl®, the leading product of Ipsen; and Trelstar® (1-and 3-month), marketed by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
For more information on the Debiopharm Group, please visit: www.debiopharm.com.
Founded in 2002 in Nantes, France, as a spin-off of INSERM U643/ITERT, one of the first research and transplantation centers in the world, and initially supported by the local incubator Atlanpole, TcLand is a biopharmaceutical company, pioneer in personalised medicine in transplantation and auto-immune diseases. Originally specialised in analysis and monitoring of T cell immune responses, the company develops specific diagnostic biomarkers as well as a proprietary portfolio of therapeutic molecules for grafted patients and patients with immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis. The company performs immunological tests (TcLandscape®) for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies conducting clinical trials in oncology, auto-immune diseases, vaccination and transplantation.
TcLand also conducts its own R&D with the development of new biomarkers (micro-arrays) and drug candidates, in close collaboration with INSERM U 643 headed by Prof Jean-Paul Soulillou, and with the support of INSERM Transfert Development. TcLand is a board member of the Atlantic Biotherapy Competitiveness Biocluster.
For more information on TcLand, please visit: www.tcland-biotech.com