Eurostars Grant Awarded To International Consortium Including IONTAS For Development Of A Covalently Linked ADCs As New And Innovative Technology For Cancer Treatment

Cambridge, UK – 6th March 2017 – IONTAS Ltd (IONTAS), a privately owned biotechnology company focusing on antibody discovery services and technologies, announces that a grant for €1.4 million has been awarded under the Eurostars™ programme to a consortium that comprises Covalab, a French biopharmaceutical company and the Universite Claude Bernard Lyon (UBCL).

The consortium will develop a HER2-ADC as proof of concept prior to investigating a range of ADC’s. Antibodies will be discovered using the IONTAS fully human scFv phage display libraries and converted to ADC’s using the proprietary conjugation technology developed by Covalab. The final ADC constructs will be tested in animal models developed by UBCL to generate preclinical proof of concept studies. The grant allows for multiple antibodies to be developed and verified with the objective of generating therapeutic compounds for the treatment of a variety of solid tumours.

Neil Butt, CBO, IONTAS, said: “Applying our technologies and phage display libraries to this novel conjugation technology will help produce potent therapeutics in the on-going battle against cancer. We very much hope that the combination of technologies within this consortium will lead to the eventual improvement in patient outcomes.”

Said El Alaoui, CEO, Covalab, commented: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this Eurostars™ grant to develop a product that could result in significant therapeutic benefit and look forward to working with the other consortium members.”

Professor Charles Dumontet, UBCL, said: “This project not only emphasizes the value of the research work undertaken at UBCL, but also illustrates that working with commercial partners is important to UBCL. We are excited to be part of a consortium and look forward to seeing the preclinical proof of concept for this novel approach.”

Neil Butt, Chief Business Officer
Tel: +44 1223 750801


From the discovery of phage display technology to the development of mammalian display, IONTAS has been at the cutting edge of antibody discovery and technology development. IONTAS offers Phage Display Technology services for antibody discovery and the supply of phage display libraries. In addition, IONTAS is developing proprietary antibody discovery platforms to select manufacturability traits during discovery and for targeting antibodies against ion channels.

About Covalab Biotech

Covalab has a strong background and many years of expertise in numerous research areas such as immunology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, chemistry. Our R&D programs, include the management of antibody development projects, as well as the development of new and innovative products. Along with the help of our technologies and our 20-year know-how, we offer services to undertake development projects of increasingly complex nature in order to meet precise client requirements.

About Universite Claude Bernard Lyon (UCBL)

Claude Bernard Lyon 1 is a university within Lyon that provides teaching for 45,000 students a year in the fields of science and technology, health and sport. Claude Bernard Lyon 1 is part of Université de Lyon, the most important French University site outside the Paris region. The University has 65 state-funded research units working in three fields; health, the environment and material technologies. A certain number of these units are the result of the association of several laboratories into research clusters. This enables these collective structures to have a much wider field of expertise and the acces to, or the purchase of, higher performance research tools than would be possible as individual structures

About Eurostars

Eurostars supports international innovative projects led by research and development- performing small- and medium-sized enterprises (R&D-performing SMEs). With its bottom-up approach, Eurostars supports the development of rapidly marketable innovative products, processes and services that help improve the daily lives of people around the world. Eurostars has been carefully developed to meet the specific needs of SMEs. It is an ideal first step in international cooperation, enabling small businesses to combine and share expertise and benefit from working beyond national borders.

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