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Rhenovia Signs an R&D Contract with Sodiaal-Candia for Studying the Nutritional and Therapeutic Value of Milk and its Derivatives

4/26/2011 11:07:01 AM

Mulhouse and Paris, France, April 26th, 2011 - Rhenovia Pharma SAS, a biotechnology company specialized in the development and optimization of treatments for diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems, announces today the signing of a research-and-development contract with Sodiaal-Candia, a world leader in dairy products. The contract is aimed at identifying new avenues of research for better understanding the beneficial effects on human health of the milk components and its derivatives. The research will focus in particular on studying their nutritional and therapeutic value. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This contract will enable Rhenovia to expand the application of its technology from medical products to food markets, and Sodiaal to better understand the effects of food on human health, and especially on people’s predisposition to neurodegenerative diseases, for the best benefit of consumers. Analyzing the links between nutrition and health is very difficult at the experimental and conceptual level. The methods of pharmaceutical research are required to understand the mechanisms of action of bioactive nutritional components. This is the core activity of Rhenovia, which will apply its know-how to identify the potential molecular or physiological targets of milk and its components. Results of these studies will improve our understanding of the relationships between food, health and predisposition to degenerative diseases.

The research project will draw on Rhenovia’s technical expertise, especially its biosimulation platform for pathologies of the central and peripheral nervous systems, for studying the influence of food on human health, and importantly on the development of neurodegenerative diseases and age-related pathologies. Poor eating habits are a major risk factor that can facilitate the development of diseases, especially cardiovascular pathologies, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. A healthy, balanced and rationally adapted diet might not only delay the emergence of these diseases and slow their progression, but also correct or enhance the efficacy of medicinal treatments and/or reduce their side-effects.

“We are delighted with the confidence that Sodiaal-Candia is showing in Rhenovia,” said Dr. Serge Bischoff, the Chairman and CEO of Rhenovia Pharma. “The signing of this first agreement will enable Rhenovia to apply its proprietary technological platforms and the services it provides to a new area, that of food and nutrition. It makes complete sense for Rhenovia to invest in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and to continue to find solutions for the nutritional deficiencies that are often associated with them. We are building on our involvement in the identification of new treatments for these same diseases to develop new applications for our technological platforms which will enable Rhenovia to move into new markets and speed up the company’s growth and value creation.”

“Sodiaal-Candia, a major player in dairy industry R&D, is a cooperative committed to promoting a healthy diet and the project with Rhenovia will enable us to become more closely involved in the development of modern nutrition and identify dietary strategies that improve health and ensure well-being while preventing certain diseases,” said Dr. Olivier Cousin, the Research-and-Development Director of Sodiaal-Candia. “We selected Rhenovia for its remarkable expertise in pharmacology, toxicology and neurosciences. The study we are conducting with Rhenovia will enable us to develop products that are designed to foster and improve the health of our customers.”

About Rhenovia Pharma SAS

Rhenovia Pharma SAS is a private biotechnology company specialized in the development and optimization of treatments for Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. It has developed and implemented a unique technology based on a biosimulation platform. Rhenovia is a world leader in biosimulation applied to drug development in the nervous system. Rhenovia has developed the first platform that reproduces on the computer cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in learning and memory and in a variety of brain pathologies related to the disruption of the balance between excitation and inhibition that occurs in a number of diseases. These include neurological diseases such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, and psychiatric indications, such as schizophrenia and depression. More than 90 per cent of the existing drugs in this therapeutic area are active in the synapse, and directly or indirectly act on excitation or inhibition. Rhenovia offers its RHEDDOS program (Rhenovia Drug Development Optimization Services) for services, partnerships and strategic alliances with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies interested for example to extend drug life cycle, develop new drug combinations and identify new targets for therapeutic molecules.

Rhenovia is based in Mulhouse, France with 20 collaborators in France, Switzerland, Germany and the USA. It was founded in 2007 to develop new technologies to optimize the drug discovery and development process of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The company has raised around EUR 2 million in investor funding (Rhenovia’s founders and team members, Alsace Business Angels, SODIV, a regional seed fund) as well as various government and European Community calls-for-projects. Rhenovia annual sales have risen each year since its creation and reached EUR 370,000 in 2010, a year in which it achieved profitability for the first time.

Further information:

About Sodiaal-Candia

Sodiaal is the largest French milk cooperative. It is owned by 13,000 milk companies and producers distributed in 64 French provinces or “departements”. With a production of 5 billion liters of milk, 7,500 collaborators and 48 industrial locations, it ranks 4th in the European milk market. The group is active in every part of the milk market through its companies and partnerships, and its many leading brands. One of its brands, Candia, is a household name and is the French specialist in consumable milks. Its bold innovative strategy has transformed the trivial status of milk over the last 40 years. It was first to market most of the new market creations, milks with vitamin, flavored milks, milks with other supplements and neonatal milks. Candia has also driven the evolution of practical packaging and technology with the introduction of the UHT bottles.

With two leading brands, Entremont and Cf&R (Le Rustique, Coeur de Lion et RichesMonts), Sodiaal has a privileged position on the hard and soft cheese markets. The group is involved in three other activities. Beuralia is active in the fat matter market with a portfolio of butters for retail distribution and products for agri-food industry. Its Nutribio subsidiary is focused on health and nutrition and produces milk compounds with high added value. Regilait is well known for its expertise in milk drying to make adult or juvenile dried milk and concentrated milk. Finally, Yoplait is particularly active and dynamic in the world market of fresh milk products. The famous little flower created in the mid-60s has become, through the years, the number two world brand through its innovative franchising development model.

In 2010, the annual sales for all the activities was approximately EUR 4 billion.

Further information:,

Mark Tidmarsh


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