Remi Delansorne, CEO of Hybrigenics, discusses the upcoming Phase IIb research into prostate cancer treatment




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Video title: Remi Delansorne, CEO of Hybrigenics, discusses the upcoming Phase IIb research into prostate cancer treatment
Released on: April 13, 2011. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Remi Delansorne, CEO at Hybrigenics
Hybrigenics's Products and Clinical studies
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at Bio-Europe in Milan, spring 2011. On this show I have Remi Delansorne , who is a CEO of Hybrigenics based in Paris, France. Welcome to the show.
Remi Delansorne:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
Remi, tell us what's happened to Hybrigenics, because Hybrigenics is a well established French company, it's reinvented itself I could describe that it's become a different type of company, so tell us what the recent journey for Hybrigenics has been?
Remi Delansorne:
So we just finished our Phase IIa clinical study of Inecalcitol in prostate cancer in infact castrate-resistant prostate cancer and that's a very interesting study, we just terminated in end of last year and it showed that our compound Inecalcitol is very well tolerated and there is very strong perception of efficacy, in combination with the gold count standard the reference chemotherapy this indication which is Taxotere and now we are preparing for Phase IIb and trying to raise the money needed for Phase IIb because this is a very important indication and the evidence based clinical studies requires now a pretty lot of patients.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so the key thing here is that you've got a product now in Phase II as you say you are going into Phase IIb which is critically important for any biotechnology company like Hybrigenics, so when you talk about doing the Phase IIb you've said it's gonna be a big study so what sort of number, how much money do you need to run a trial like that?
Remi Delansorne:
So 12 million euros would be needed to make a study about just about 300 patients now, because we already tested our compound in a total of 54 patients it was a dose escalation studies, we tested 9 dose levels and we've managed to go as high as 4 milligram per day for 18 weeks without any toxicity concern and 85% of the patients responded to the combination of Taxotere and Inecalcitol and what we want to confirm in this Phase IIb is this increase response rate because Taxotere alone usually raises a 60 to 67% response rate so we got 18% almost 20% more patients who are responders that's a very important finding that we want to confirm in this Phase IIb.
Breakthroughs in Prostate cancer therapy area
Fintan Walton:
Right, and why is that prostate cancer has become such a big topic now, why it's been an area that's had numerous attempts to try and come up with some specific therapy for it, so what's changed in this particular area?
Remi Delansorne:
So in fact if you look at prostate cancer it's a very longer cancer and a major breakthrough was achieved in the end of the 80's with a chemical castration, but it was in the very early stage of prostate cancer at time of diagnosis where cancer is all among responsive and it was a breakthrough because before it was a surgical castration which was applied to the patients, so it was really a breakthrough in the end of the 80's, and now in 2004 Taxotere also was a breakthrough in prostate cancer, because it provided 2.5 months more of overall survival on average and that was also the second breakthrough in this field I agree it was quite longer after the first breakthrough and this has really encouraged companies to look into this indication and now what we've seen in the last year is the result of several different studies with new agents but in fact I agree with you colon cancer , breast cancer have been much more active in term of combination project and improvements in how the management of patients, but prostate cancer has encountered still two breakthrough with the chemical castration and Taxotere it was such a lost of space for a while.
Technology platform based on Yeast Two Hybrid technology
Fintan Walton:
Sure, sure. Now going back to Hybrigenics itself you have this obviously this clinically important program going on what else is happening at Hybrigenics, how would you describe the company today?
Remi Delansorne:
So last year it was very important that the technology platform on which the company was founded 12-years ago was established as a fully owned autonomous subsidiary and it's a 3.5 million euros business and we will be sure for the first time unofficial profit with this activity for the 2010 exercise because that's very important, because that mean that we kept growing the business with this platform it is stabilized and it can live by itself now that's very important.
Fintan Walton:
Right, could you tell us what the platform is?
Remi Delansorne:
So it's based on the Yeast-Two-Hybrid-technology, it's a very complex technology to do a simple thing is to find the partner of proteins with which as they interact to do their job it's almost to provide there a linking type of sheet for a given protein to know with which proteins are interacting, working as a same family and as the same pathways.
Fintan Walton:
So it's basically a discovery tool, would you describe it as a discovery tool?
Remi Delansorne:
Absolutely it's a early stage discovery tool and not only for pharma targets it is applied to all living organisms and it has attracted clients from cosmetics because L Oreal is a big client of us and also for the agro business Monsanto is also one of our clients and we have had also some protein biochemist from all academic labs who wants to find fast and accurately protein interactors for their protein of interest.
Biotechnology industry in France
Fintan Walton:
Right, and just in terms of you're a French obviously a French biotechnology company, what is the business mood in biotechnology in France at the moment, how would you describe that?
Remi Delansorne:
It's a good mood, because very realistic many companies have achieved a mature states, because now we have 20 listed company under Alternext or even on Eurolist in a wide arrays of different activities from Medtech Carmat the artificial heart which is now a star under French marketplace to genome engineering we select this and you can also name Vivalis with some cell lines to do vaccines, so the French biotech field is very active and Hybrigenics is part of it it's also one of the oldest one, but we got under public market in 2007 and we tried to play our own partition with clinical R&D under one hand and technology platform doing services business.
Partnership strategy
Fintan Walton:
Sure, and for you to raise the next round of finance would you look for that money within France alone or will you look for it outside France and across Europe or even USA?
Remi Delansorne:
You know it's clear that we have made contacting especially in the USA, because we are looking for a partner to develop Inecalcitol in the USA and we found also the USA market to be more receptive to new activities and 12 million euros are needed, but it's not through fund raising that we are thinking to raise that money, we are looking for a partner that could help develop the drug with us.
Fintan Walton:
Remi, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Remi Delansorne:
Thank you and thank you for your interest in Hybrigenics.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Remi Delansorne
CEO
Remi Delansorne , currently serves as CEO of Hybrigenics based in Paris, France. Remi Delansorne holds a veterinary doctorate from "Ecole Nationale V"t"rinaire d'Alfort" and a PhD in life sciences from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, he joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1985 in Theramex, where he held several positions in pre-clinical R&D. until the company was integrated into the Merck Group (now Merck-Serono) in 2000. In 2002, Remi Delansorne became Merck Global Head of Diabetes Research and responsible for the three preclinical sites in France. Then, he joined Hybrigenics in 2004 as Vice-President for R&D and was appointed CEO of the company in September 2005.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
Hybrigenics
Hybrigenics SA is a bio-pharmaceutical group listed (ALHYG) on Alternext (NYSEEuronext) in Paris, focusing its internal R&D programs on innovative targets and therapies for the treatment of cancer. Hybrigenics's development program is based on inecalcitol, a vitamin D analogue, for the treatment of hormonerefractory prostate cancer in combination with Sanofi-Aventis'Taxotere, which is the current gold-standard chemotherapeutic treatment for this indication. Hybrigenics' research program explores the role of enzymes known as ubiquitin-specific proteases (USP) in the degradation of oncoproteins, and the effectiveness of proprietary USP inhibitors in treating various types of cancer. Hybrigenics Services SAS is a fully-owned subsidiary of Hybrigenics SA, and the market leader in Yeast-Two-Hybrid (Y2H)and related services to identify, validate and inhibit protein interactions for researchers in all areas of life science, using its ISO 9001-certified high-throughput Y2H screening platform, its sophisticated bioinformatics tools and extensive database, along with its chemical library and chemical screening platform.