Liège, Belgium, January 8, 2018 – Imcyse SA, a biotechnology company developing active specific therapies for the treatment of severe chronic diseases, today announces that it has entered into a research collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) for development of an Imotope™, a specific modified peptide, targeting rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will provide an undisclosed amount to fund the research activities, and Pfizer has an exclusive option to negotiate a license agreement for a limited period following the research activities. Additionally, Pfizer will perform preclinical evaluation of another of Imcyse’s Imotopes targeting multiple sclerosis (MS) to better understand the mode of action of Imcyse’s Imotope technology platform. Imcyse will have access to select technology platforms at Pfizer as well as all research results related to this collaboration.
“We are pleased to announce this collaboration with Pfizer, as it further demonstrates the potential of our Imotope technology and its potential application to pharmaceutical research,” said Pierre Vandepapelière, CEO of Imcyse. “The collaboration with Pfizer in these two fields of application will help us confirm the potential for our technology in others.”
Notes for editors:
Imcyse’s unique Imotopes™ are specific modified peptides that induce a unique type of T-cell. Known as cytolytic T-cells, these actively and specifically kill immune cells involved in auto-immune diseases such as RA or MS. Treatment with a specific Imotope™ has the potential to disrupt the undesirable immune response that drives the process of destruction of the healthy cells. Preclinical studies in diabetes showed a prolonged effect after just a few subcutaneous injections.
Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis are both severe and chronic autoimmune diseases. According to the Atlas of MS, there are about 2.3 million people in the world with MS, although the number may be much higher as it is likely that many people with MS remain undiagnosed in certain parts of the world. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects nearly 1% of the population worldwide. These diseases have no curative treatment but can be controlled by Disease Modifying Therapies (DMTs) for MS and by Disease Modifying Drugs (DMARDs) for RA.
Imcyse develops active targeted immunotherapies to treat and cure severe chronic diseases caused by disruptions in the immune system.
The company’s unique active immunotherapy technology platform works to destroy locally the immune cells involved in the destruction of the diseased organ. This platform is based on the administration of Imotopes™; specific modified peptides, allowing for the generation of a new type of T-cell, called cytolytic CD4 T-cells. The long-term effects of the Imcyse approach help to prevent and treat diseases with no current therapeutic alternative and to cure the patient without impairing their immune defense.
The company has established proof of pre-clinical concept and launched its first clinical trial in type 1 diabetes in September 2016 in four European countries.
Founded in 2010, Imcyse is a spin-off from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium. The company is based near the Belgian city of Liège.