PRNEWSWIRE: Servier and Treventis begin strategic research partnership in neurodegenerative diseases

See original article here PARIS and TORONTOJan. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Servier and Treventis announce strategic research partnership in targeting misfolded proteins implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration covers a large drug discovery program targeting both tau and amyloïde-β (Aβ), two key proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. This therapeutic strategy aims to provide patients with a drug that slows the progression of pathology in the brain, thereby minimizing functional decline through a disease-modifying mechanism. Servier and Treventis will jointly develop compounds that act as inhibitors of tau and Ab oligomer formation, identified by Treventis’ Common Conformational Morphology (CCM) platform technology. The collaboration will also include the development and validation of translational biomarkers to support the preclinical program, allow the characterization and selection of patient populations and track disease progression in the clinic. Under the terms of the agreement, Treventis and Servier will co-develop the programs until selection of a Phase 1 candidate. Servier will fund all research costs and will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize any selected compounds. “Servier has been engaged in the development of therapies targeting neurodegenerative disorders for more than a decade. We very much hope that this new collaboration will allow us to answer the huge unmet patient need for disease-modifying treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to Treventis’ unique and innovative technology,” said Christian de Bodinat, Director of Servier’s Center of Therapeutic Innovation in neuropsychiatry. “We are very excited to be part of one of the first programs employing a dual approach in this field.” With more than 10 years of experience in this field, Treventis has a unique and revolutionary process for identifying small molecules to neutralize misfolded proteins, such as those implicated in Alzheimer’s (beta-amyloid and tau) and in other neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Therapeutic targeting of intrinsically disordered proteins such as tau and Aβ peptide by small molecules is a major challenge because of their heterogeneous conformational properties. Treventis scientists identified a common binding site based on epitope commonality between multiple misfolded amyloid proteins. This information was used to create CCM, a proprietary methodology for constructing models of the earliest stages of protein misfolding. Using CCM for in silico screening allows for the identification and optimization of numerous classes of potent, drug-like compounds –making structure-based design a reality for anti-amyloid drug discovery. “We are very excited to work with Servier to progress new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases,” said L. William McIntosh, Board Chairman of Treventis. “We believe that the combination of Treventis’ innovative platforms and technologies with Servier’s deep expertise in central nervous system drug development has significant potential to rapidly advance new treatments for patients in need.About Servier Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a non-profit foundation, with its headquarters in France (Suresnes). With a strong international presence in 148 countries and a turnover of 4.152 billion euros in 2017, Servier employs 21,600 people worldwide. Entirely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of its turnover (excluding generic drugs) in research and development and uses all its profits for development. Corporate growth is driven by Servier’s constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiovascular, immune-inflammatory and neuropsychiatric diseases, cancers and diabetes, as well as by its activities in high-quality generic drugs. Servier has a solid commitment to neuropsychiatry and to proposing innovative therapies to patients suffering from neurological conditions. Its research teams are investigating new ways of treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders, by targeting the toxic proteins that lead to neuron degeneration. The priority is to focus on the causes of the diseases rather than their symptoms. Currently, there are 5 projects at different stages of research and development in this promising area. This portfolio of innovative treatments is being developed with academic and industrial partners worldwide. More information: Find us on Social Media: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter About Treventis Treventis is headquartered in Pennsylvania and has research operations in Halifax and Toronto, Canada. The company is focused on the discovery and development of disease-modifying small molecule drugs for a variety of protein misfolding diseases including Alzheimer’s. In addition to its therapeutic programs, Treventis has a novel diagnostic approach for early diagnosis and monitoring treatment effects in Alzheimer’s disease. More information: Press contacts: Servier Sonia MARQUES: – Tél. : +33 (0)1 55 72 40 21 / + 33 (0) 7 84 28 76 13 Karine BOUSSEAU: – Tél. : +33 (0)1 55 72 60 37 Treventis Chris BARDEN:  Tel : +1 (647) 228-1276   SOURCE Treventis

ENTREVESTOR: Appili To Work on Anti-Bioterror Vaccine

See original Entrevestor post here Appili Therapeutics has struck an agreement to work on a vaccine that could protect people against a potential bioterror threat. The Halifax drug discovery company said Monday it signed a licence agreement with the National Research Council of Canada to help develop ATI-1701, to vaccinate against tularemia. The vaccine will protect against bacteria called Francisella tularensis, which can cause tularemia, a highly infectious disease also known as rabbit fever. People can become infected with tularemia through tick and deer fly bites, drinking infected water or by simply inhaling the disease if it becomes airborne. This is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists F. Tularensis (the bacteria that causes the disease) as a Category A pathogen, a bacteria that poses the highest threat to national security and public health. “Francisella tularensis is a very infectious bacteria,” Sean McBride, Appili vice-president of business development, said in the announcement. “A small number (of bacteria) can cause tularemia disease. If used as a weapon, the bacteria would likely be made airborne for exposure by inhalation.” He added: “People who inhale an infectious aerosol would generally experience severe respiratory illness, including life-threatening pneumonia and systemic infection, if they are not treated,” Aerosolized F. tularensis was studied by the Soviet Union during the Second World War and the Cold War for military purposes. The Soviets also developed a vaccine, but with limited effectiveness. The NRC’s ATI-1701 compound was developed through genetic engineering and has shown a strong immune response to the F. tularensis strain. “The NRC has developed an elegant attenuated vaccine that is showing dramatic results, better than the current vaccination,” Appili CEO Kevin Sullivan said in an interview. Wayne Conlan led the team that developed NRC’s ATI-1701 compound. In the statement, he said: “It is very rewarding to see our team’s research on this vaccine progress from our labs to the next stage of development. We are delighted to partner with Appili on this important program designed to protect the health of Canadians exposed to bioterror threats.” Part of the funding to develop the vaccine is from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a part of the U.S. Department of Defense, which has invested $6.2 million into a five-year program to develop the tularemia vaccine. The licence agreement with the NRC grants Appili — which has raised money from Innovacorp and through the investment boutique Bloom Burton  & Co. — exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the tularemia vaccine. Under the agreement, Appili is responsible for the preclinical and clinical testing to evaluate the safety of the ATI-1701 vaccine in humans as per the guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada. The vaccine won’t be commercially available for another 3-5 years but Sullivan says this is the right step to hinder the development of a tularemia bioweapon. “It’s one of the goals of the West to develop the tularemia vaccine in case there is a bioterror attack,” said Sullivan. “We want to minimize the threat of a bioterror weapon to a point where the adversary doesn’t even bother making one.”]]>