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OSEO Awards a €10.4 Million Funding Package to PHARNEXT, BioSystems International, Bordeaux Hospital (CMRR1), University Bordeaux Segalen and INSERM  
11/18/2010 2:09:43 PM

November, 2010 -- The biotech companies PHARNEXT and BIOSYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, the Bordeaux Hospital where CMRR is located, the university Bordeaux Segalen and Inserm (the center U897 “Epidemiology and Biostatistics”) have joined forces to carry out the DIPPAL 2 project. This innovative research and industrial development project is targeting Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and has attracted significant financial support from OSEO (the French state innovation agency).

The DIPPAL project will run for 6 years and will be financed by OSEO's Strategic Industrial Innovation program to the tune of €10.4 million. OSEO's financial package comprises a €2.7 million grant and a €7.7 million loan (repayable if the project is a success). The project will be led by PHARNEXT. If successful, this ambitious industrial R&D project DIPPAL project will provide Alzheimer’s patients with diagnostic and therapeutic solutions - thus addressing a pressing public health need by allowing access to early medical intervention and lessening the socio-economic impact of AD. The project's deliverables will contribute to a better understanding of early-stage AD. The DIPPAL project will also leverage Pharnext and Biosystems International's national and international business and create jobs in the Paris region and to expand internationally. OSEO will assist the DIPPAL partners for the duration of the DIPPAL project, as it did with during the set-up phase.

The DIPPAL project's goals: At present, there is neither a simple, reliable, non-invasive test for early diagnosis of AD nor an effective disease-modifying treatment. Given this context, the DIPPAL project's three main objectives are to:

- develop and validate a prototype multiparameter blood test for the early, reliable diagnosis of AD.

- discover a Pleodrug™ for the effective treatment of AD based on above tests and take it through to the end of Phase II clinical trials.

- develop a companion test to monitor the effectiveness of the Pleodrug™ in humans and/or to determine the sub-population of "responder" patients.

The DIPPAL project partners will then seek to license the prototype diagnostic test, the Pleodrug™ and the theranostic to diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies, who will complete the future products' development and commercialization.

The DIPPAL project. This highly competitive project relies on Pharnext and BSI's innovative, proprietary technologies for therapy and diagnostics, respectively, and on access to pertinent biological samples via CMRR Aquitaine. It will also leverage parallel, synergistic R&D on the diagnostic test, the Pleodrug™ and the companion test from the very outset of the project, on the basis of common working hypotheses.

About the OSEO Strategic Industrial Innovation Program - The Strategic Industrial Innovation program promotes the emergence of European champions. It supports ambitious, innovative collaborative projects through to industrialization, driven by innovative medium-sized companies (less than 5000 employees) and small businesses (less than 250 employees). These highly promising projects are aimed at the commercialization of products which result from technological breakthroughs and which not be possible without fostering measures from the public sector. Funding is generally in the €3-10 million range, as grants-in aid and loans which are repayable if the project is a success.

For further information, visit www.oseo.fr.

About Pharnext – The biopharmaceutical company Pharnext specializes in the discovery and development of novel pharmaceutical treatments. Based on its founders' extensive experience (over 20 years) in human genetics and systems biology, Pharnext has perfected an innovative, proprietary process for reconstructing the complex biological networks associated with a given disease. By understanding these networks, Pharnext identifies and develops Pleodrugs™, a cocktail of low-dose, off-patent drugs already approved for other diseases. The Pleodrugs™ target different nodes of the complex biological networks associated with the disease. Pharnext performs all aspects of Pleodrug™ R&D up to the end of Phase II clinical trials, before licensing the product to the pharmaceutical industry. Although this approach can be applied to any disease, the company is concentrating on neurodegenerative, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Several programs are currently underway (in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, Charcot disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and polycystic kidney disease). Pharnext was founded in Paris in April 2007 by Professor Daniel Cohen MD, PhD, his team of research scientists (made up of pioneers in the field of genomics) and Philippe Pouletty, MD (General Partner, Truffle Capital).

About Biosystems International - Biosystems International (BSI), located at the Genopole Bioscience Park in Evry, is a biotechnology company specializing in the discovery and development of novel diagnostics for diseases with critical unmet needs. Using our proprietary monoclonal antibody proteomics process, BSI rapidly discovers novel biomarkers and corresponding antibodies in a single step. The technology perfected by BIOSYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL allows the discovery and development of novel diagnostics by the high-throughput production of monoclonal antibodies which are then used with high precision to assess the differential proteome in plasma from patients and control subjects. This technology generates reagents for the production of monoclonal antibody microarrays for research use. The company is currently focusing on the discovery and development of diagnostic tests in cancer and chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease together with the development and commercialization of antibody arrays for plasma proteome profiling in various indications.

About CMRR from Bordeaux Hospital and Research Center U897 “Epidemiology and Biostatistics”- Bordeaux University Hospital's Center for Clinical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease, directed by Professor Jean-François Dartigues, is part of the Clinical Neurosciences Unit (headed by Professor Jean-Marc Orgogozo), associated with the INSERM research center U897 (Institute of Public Health Epidemiology and Development) and University Bordeaux Segalen. It provides not only clinical expertise on Alzheimer’s disease but also access to human biological resources at Bordeaux Aquitaine Center for Memory Resources and Research (CMRR) in series of patients and in prospective cohorts for Alzheimer’s Disease. As the proprietary approaches and technologies developed by PHARNEXT and BIOSYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL are particularly well suited to multifactorial diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease), a co-development contract has been set up with all partners. It comprises several project phases: (i) determination of a proteomic profile for Alzheimer’s disease, using a initial “learning set” of samples; (ii) determination of the profile’s diagnostic value (sensitivity and specificity) with a larger set of samples, which includes other types of dementia, and (iii) determination of the profile’s early predictive value with one or several longitudinal cohorts of initially healthy, elderly subjects who are monitored until the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

Contacts

OSEO Sabina Cristova Vanessa Godet +33 (0)1 41 79 98 85 +33 (0)1 41 79 84 33 sabina.cristova@oseo.fr vanessa.godet@oseo.fr

PHARNEXT ALIZE RP Lyse Santoro PhD / VP, CCO Caroline Carmagnol // Anne Sophie Cosquéric +33 (0)1 55 42 66 86 +33 6 64 18 99 59 // + 33 1 42 68 86 41 lyse.santoro@pharnext.com caroline@alizerp.com // anne-sophie@alizerp.com

BIOSYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL Elisabeth Rocolle-Teyssier, CFO William Hempel, Scientific Communications Director +33 (0)1 60 87 89 75 info@biosys-intl.com

Aquitaine Valo,Tech Transfer Office of valorisation University of Bordeaux Claire Moras c.moras@aquitaine-valo.fr (www. Aquitaine-valo.fr)

CHU Bordeaux – Pôle des Neurosciences Cliniques, CHU de Bordeaux, University Bordeaux 2 et Inserm U897 Pr Jean-Marc Orgogozo jean-marc.orgogozo@chu-bordeaux.fr + 33 6 63 82 59 90


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