EPALINGES, Switzerland, February 14, 2013 – Anergis, a company developing breakthrough allergy vaccines for fast and safe allergen-specific immunotherapy, today announced the expansion of its management team. With the appointments of Gilles Della Corte as Director of Clinical Development and Eva Castagnetti as Director of Product Development, the company has significantly strengthened its late-stage drug development expertise.
Gilles Della Corte, MD, brings to Anergis extensive expertise in global clinical development. In the past 22 years, he worked both for pharmaceutical companies, including Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Servier, Solvay Pharma, Serono and Merck Serono, and for CROs where he held various senior positions in Research and Development. He has significant experience with all stages and aspects of clinical drug development ranging from Phase I to Phase IV. A cardiologist and pharmacologist by training, Gilles also holds diplomas in statistics and clinical trial methodology.
Eva Castagnetti, PhD, has several years of experience in both technical and business management functions in the biopharmaceutical industry with Lonza, Senn Chemicals and Rapid Pharmaceuticals. She has been responsible for the development and production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (peptides) in early to late clinical phases, gaining comprehensive experience of the regulatory and quality requirements in the development of new pharmaceutical products. Eva obtained her PhD in organic chemistry in 2001 from the University of Lausanne/EPFL and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge/Boston) and at the ETH Zurich.
“Anergis has evolved into a clinical-stage company with several product candidates. We expect to report Phase II results of our large, randomized, controlled European trial of AllerT in Q3, 2013. With the appointments of Gilles Della Corte and Eva Castagnetti, Anergis has gained significant product and clinical development expertise, which will both be essential for the future clinical development of AllerT as well as for our expanding product pipeline,” said Vincent Charlon, CEO of Anergis.
Anergis SA is a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of novel allergy vaccines targeting the most frequent allergies. Anergis´ vaccines are based on its proprietary Continuous Overlapping Peptides technology. Allergies are the most prevalent and the fastest growing chronic conditions in the industrialized world, with over 500 million people affected.
Anergis’ lead-product AllerT, a vaccine to treat birch pollen allergies, is in Phase II clinical development. AllerR, its second vaccine candidate for the treatment of patients with allergy to ragweed pollen, has recently reached important preclinical milestones and received positive feedback from the U.S. FDA for the subsequent clinical development program in June 2012. Anergis has raised over CHF 22 million from Renaissance PME-Vinci Capital, Sunstone Capital, BioMedInvest and other investors including Esperante Ventures and Defi Gestion.
About Anergis´ Contiguous Overlapping Peptides Technology (COPs)
The only curative therapy of allergies available today, known as “desensitization” or “Specific Immunotherapy” (SIT), is a process of induction of tolerance to the allergen requiring 3-5 years of treatment and exposing patients to the risk of serious side effects. Anergis has developed a next-generation concept of SIT: vaccines based on COPs (Contiguous Overlapping Peptides), which reproduce the full-length amino acid sequence of the allergen in separate long peptides. COPs do not cross-react with IgE, the antibody class responsible for eliciting allergic hypersensitivity. Therefore, COPs can be safely administered at high doses to induce tolerance to the allergen after few injections only. Studies of COPs targeting bee venom and birch pollen allergies in both animals and humans have demonstrated excellent safety (no immediate allergic reaction) and immunogenicity (production of specific antibodies and cytokines against the original allergen and establishment of a long term immune memory).
Vincent Charlon, CEO
Dr. Ludger Wess, Ines Regina Buth
Tel. +49 40 88165964 or +49 30 2363 2768