ABIVAX to receive €8.4 million from Bpifrance “Invest in the Future Program” (PIA) for the development of innovative antiviral drugs
Paris, January 9th, 2017 – ABIVAX (Euronext Paris: FR0012333284 – ABVX), an innovative biotechnology company targeting the immune system to eradicate viral disease, will receive €8.4 million from the competitive funding call “Projets de R&D Structurants Pour la Compétitivité” (PSPC) of the “Invest in the Future Program” (PIA). This program is supervised by the General Commissariat of Investment (Commissariat Général de l’Investissement) and operated by Bpifrance. The funding will strengthen ABIVAX’s proprietary antiviral platform by accelerating the identification and optimization of new antiviral therapeutics.
“We are excited to support ABIVAX, with their globally leading innovative technology” said Jeremy Berthuin, Head of Healthcare sector at Bpifrance. “With this funding we aim at accelerating the development and launch of novel antiviral drugs for critical unmet medical needs.”
“Through our partnership with the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique) and with the help of this funding from Bpifrance, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to scale-up our antiviral platform,” said Professor Hartmut Ehrlich, MD, CEO of ABIVAX. “The fact that our anti-HIV drug candidate ABX464 already has shown antiviral efficacy in clinical Phase IIa testing in HIV-patients and that we also were able to identify several other novel compounds from our proprietary library that selectively inhibit other viruses, including chikungunya, were strong arguments to convince the steering committee of the strength of our innovative platform. We are grateful to Bpifrance for its continued support of ABIVAX’s core technology platform, which started with the CaReNa program, and now for providing us with additional resources to further exploit this platform.”
Under this new program, ABIVAX will lead a consortium, including the CNRS and qualified contract research organizations (CROs). A total budget of €18.8 was approved for the project over a period of five years. The total funding provided by Bpifrance is €10.3 million, of which €8.4 million are a mix of loans and subsidies for ABIVAX and €1.9 million for the CNRS.
The funding will allow ABIVAX to increase the throughput and further optimize its antiviral discovery platform, which is based on technologies developed together with the CNRS (Montpellier-France) and the Curie Institute (Orsay-France). The platform has already generated a focused library of over 1,000 small molecule compounds selected for their ability to block viral replication by targeting the RNA-Protein complex (RNP). This innovative approach has broad applicability for the treatment of a number of life-threatening viral diseases, including dengue, influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).
The platform already has been validated by ABX464, a potential functional cure for HIV, currently in Phase II testing. In addition, the platform has generated other compounds inhibiting the replication of other viruses, including ABX311, which is in preclinical testing for treatment of Chikungunya.
Bpifrance is the managing operator for research and development projects structuring competitiveness under the ‘Investments for the Future’ Program led by the General Investment Commission. The goal of these projects is to frame and organize industry sectors or to generate new ones. They aim to strengthen the positions of French businesses in key markets by providing funding for ambitious programs. More broadly they aim to enhance the economic standing of a network of enterprises, by building or consolidating sustainable collaborative relationships between manufacturing, service industries and research organizations
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