Biocitech, September 18, 2012 – Mutabilis, a company specialized in the discovery of new therapeutic approaches for treating serious, hospital-acquired infections, announces today that it has received EUR four million of European funding for the HIVINNOV project, which is aimed at developing new antiretrovirals against HIV.
The Mutabilis project, known as “Generation of a new class of antiretrovirals targeting HIV-cellular cofactors interactions”, or HIVINNOV, entails the development of new anti-HIV antiretrovirals up to the Phase IIa clinical trial stage. The particular feature of these new antiretrovirals is that they do not target the virus directly, as the majority of existing antiretrovirals do, but the interactions between the virus and its host, which are essential for the replication of the virus. The project, which will get under way in October when a launch meeting is to be held at the Biocitech science and technology park, is due to last three years and to receive total funding of EUR six million.
Mutabilis, which is the coordinator of the project as well as a partner in it, formed a consortium in July 2011 comprising five prestigious European academic research establishments that are regarded as world leaders in the field of virus-host cell interactions in the area of HIV. They are the following: University College London (UCL) and the Cancer Research Institute UK (CRUK) in the United Kingdom; the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam (AMC) in the Netherlands; the AIDS Units Clinical Institute of the University of Barcelona (FCRB) in Spain and a group of two French research establishments – the Institut Cochin, which is run jointly by the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) and the University of Paris Descartes) and the University Hematology Institute (IUH) of the Saint Louis Hospital in Paris (run by INSERM, the CNRS and the University of Paris Diderot).
Of the 1,135 projects submitted under the FP7 2012 health research program, which spawned the request for proposals to which Mutabilis responded, 319 were short-listed in the first instance (on the basis of program summaries), after which 121 were finally selected, representing a success rate of around ten per cent.
The European Union’s seventh framework program (FP7), which has been allotted a total budget of EUR 50.5 billion for the 2007-2013 period, brings together all the EU’s research initiatives under one roof and plays an important role in achieving its growth, competitiveness and employment targets. A budget of EUR 6.05 billion has been assigned to cooperation in human health. HIVINNOV was selected from among research programs aimed at discovering innovative drugs and developing vaccines against the infectious and parasitic diseases responsible for the world’s worst human health problems, which affect poorer countries in particular, although not exclusively, namely malaria, tuberculosis and HIV infection, which is responsible for AIDS.
“The commission was apparently very impressed with the major advances we have made with the compounds we are developing, as well as the quality of the consortium and the research projects proposed,” said the scientific director of Mutabilis, Dr. Richard Benarous. “This success should encourage all the companies on the Biocitech campus to pay more attention and respond to European tenders that often give precedence to collaborations between innovative SMEs and European academic partners.”
“The funding secured for the research program coordinated by Mutabilis is very good news in a difficult economic climate,” added the president of Biocitech, Jean-François Boussard. “It shows that the companies installed at Biocitech implement ambitious development programs, collaborate with the best European research teams and thereby contribute to spreading the word about Biocitech and the Paris basin ecosystem.”
Mutabilis is a spin-off from INSERM that was created in August 2001 and is specialized in the discovery of new therapeutic approaches for treating bacterial and viral infections. Its aim is to provide new solutions for satisfying major medical needs by developing breakthrough innovations in the area of antiinfectives.
As regards innovative antibacterial therapies, Mutabilis is now focusing on an antivirulence approach. Antivirulence is a new therapeutic concept for combating bacterial infections without antibiotics.
The company has been a subsidiary of Pharma Omnium International since 2009.
About Pharma Omnium International
Pharma Omnium is a French pharmaceutical company that markets mature drugs in various therapeutic classes, including the nervous system, anesthesia, hormone products, oncology and rheumatology, some of which are market leaders. Pharma Omnium is an excellent platform for acquiring and integrating research programs.
Biocitech is a technology park devoted to life sciences and the environment that offers resident companies on-site support from inception to maturity. It provides a range of services that are specifically designed for firms in the sectors of biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, medical and in vitro diagnostics and medical devices.
Biocitech is the only science and technology park in the Paris area that is ICPE certified, which provides entrepreneurs with secure premises of a high technological standard that are perfectly adapted to their development, together with a comprehensive and flexible range of services that include technical buildings, multi-technical services and support services. This gives firms the benefit of specialized resources that cost less because they are pooled. Biocitech is located close to Raymond Queneau railway station, only 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle airport.
The park is market-oriented and the great majority of its residents generate revenues from the sale of products or services. Furthermore, the firms installed at Biocitech complement one another, which generates strong synergies and has engendered numerous collaborations.
Along with other organizations in the Paris area, Biocitech is a key element in the Medicen Paris Region network, the Greater Paris region’s world-class competitiveness hub for health and new therapies.
ANDREW LLOYD & ASSOCIATES
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