LIEGE, BELGIUM / ACCESSWIRE / February 3, 2021 / Imcyse, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of a new class of active and specific immunotherapies for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases, today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with Pfizer Inc. (PFE) for Imcyse’s Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) program based on the Company’s ImotopeTM technology. Following the successful completion of a research collaboration initiated in 2017, the companies have entered into such license agreement to develop ImotopesTM to potentially treat RA. In the initial period, the companies will collaborate to develop existing lead candidates and further optimize potential molecules. Subsequently, Pfizer will lead clinical development and commercialization activities for the program.
Under the terms of the agreement, Imcyse will receive an up-front payment and Pfizer will purchase an equity stake in Imcyse to be executed in an upcoming financing round. In addition, Imcyse is eligible to receive up to USD 180 million in milestones in addition to tiered royalty payments. In addition, Mike Vincent, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Inflammation & Immunology Research Unit at Pfizer will join the Imcyse Scientific Advisory Board.
The initiation of the RA program was funded in part from a grant by the Wallonia Research SPW, which over a number of years and supplementary grants has supported Imcyse, enabling the Company and its programs to develop to this point of industrial partnership.
Denis Bedoret, Imcyse CEO, commented: “This license agreement constitutes a great endorsement and a sign of confidence in our ImotopeTM technology platform from one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. We are excited to expand our successful collaboration to develop ImotopesTM for RA, a prevalent autoimmune disorder. It is our ultimate goal to develop curative treatments for autoimmune disorders for the benefit of patients worldwide. For diseases such as RA, this can be best accomplished with the help of partners such as Pfizer.”
The Imcyse ImotopeTM platform represents a next generation and potentially curative approach to severe autoimmune diseases. ImotopesTM induce cytolytic T cells, which specifically eliminate the aberrant disease pathway while leaving the rest of the immune system unaffected. The Company’s lead program is entering phase 2 in Type 1 Diabetes and its Multiple Sclerosis candidate is expected to commence clinical trials by 2022.
Mike Vincent, CSO, Pfizer Inflammation & Immunology, further commented: “I am very pleased to be joining the Scientific Advisory Board of Imcyse and for Pfizer to join in the development of the ImotopeTM technology in the field of RA. Pfizer is committed to addressing the needs of patients in Rheumatology, and the Imcyse technology platform offers a unique scientific approach that we look forward to exploring further.”
Imcyse is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of a new class of active and specific immunotherapies for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases. The company’s unique technology platform allows it to specifically target immune cells involved in the destruction of the diseased organ. Disease specific Imotopes(TM), which are modified peptides, generate cytolytic CD4 T-cells, that eliminate antigen-presenting cells and autoantigen specific lymphocytes. The Imotope(TM) effect, sustained over time, helps to prevent and treat diseases with no current curative alternative and to potentially cure patients without causing generalized immune suppression. The company has established proof of concept in several indications and has started a Phase 2 clinical program in type 1 diabetes with promising results already seen during the first Phase 1 trial. Beyond type 1 diabetes, Imcyse is developing a pipeline of Imotopes(TM) for the treatment of several autoimmune diseases. Founded as a spin-off of the Catholic University of Leuven in 2011, Imcyse subsequently relocated to Liège, Belgium.
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