EUREKA Eurostars grants €0.8 million for immune therapies collaboration
9 Jun 2022
Dutch firm Lead Pharma and French company Oxeltis have been awarded an €800K grant from the 37-nation EUREKA intergovernmental network’s Eurostars program for their EPIGENEXT joint project.
The three-year EPIGENEXT project is intended to develop small molecule therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) – an aggressive blood cancer that develops in the lymphatic system and affects around 115,000 people annually worldwide.
Lead Pharma designs and develops therapies for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases and cancer, while Oxeltis specialises in medicinal chemistry and custom synthesis.
Arthur Oubrie, CSO of Lead Pharma said: “We are delighted that our approach to combat DLBCL has been awarded a Eurostars grant. We look forward to joining forces with Oxeltis, who will bring extra power in organic and medicinal chemistry to the joint project team.”
Treatment for DLBCL combines an antibody therapy with four chemotherapy drugs known as R-CHOP. However up to 50 per cent of DLBCL patients eventually relapse, with a one-year survival rate of less than 30 per cent. Meanwhile, non-selective chemotherapy drugs produce side effects such as tiredness and anemia, hence the interest in therapies that improve survival and quality of life for patients.
Stéphane Salamone, chemistry director at Oxeltis, said: “We are pleased to contribute to Lead Pharma’s innovation in drug discovery, the EPIGENEXT project perfectly matches Oxeltis’ capacity to be a medicinal chemistry partner and is aligned with the company’s strategy to invest in long-term partnerships.”
Eurostars supports innovative SMEs and project partners by funding international collaborative R&D and innovation projects.