Biotechnology company TxCell SA has been granted EUR 1.7 million ($1.9 million) from Bpifrance to support the development of the company’s lead product candidate Ovasave (ovalbumin-specific autologous Treg cells). TxCell is working on the development of novel and cost-effective personalized T cell immunotherapies for the treatment of severe chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases through the use of antigen specific regulatory T-cells, called Ag-Tregs.
The grant awarded by Bpifrance is going to invested into a placebo-controlled phase IIb clinical study called CATS29 that is already being conducted to evaluate Ovasave in patients who suffer from refractory Crohn’s disease. The French company has been enrolling patients for the phase IIb clinical study since December in six European countries, and the results of the study are planned to be announced between the end of the next year and the beginning of 2017.
Bpifrance, whose grants will enable TxCell to have extended flexibility on its research and development projects, is supporting the clinical study of Ovasave through an interest-free innovation loan called Prêt à Taux Zéro pour l’Innovation (PTZI), which is a financing tool created to enable the financing of French companies who are conducting novel projects.
“The EUR 1.7 million zero rate loan provides additional means to advance Ovasave, our lead personalized T cell immunotherapy through clinical development for refractory Crohn’s disease. It also demonstrates Bpifrance’s continued support for our innovative programs,” said the CEO of TxCell, Damian Marron. “This Bpifrance funding, combined with the recently announced additional expertise and support from Trizell SA, strengthens the route to market for Ovasave, a promising novel treatment option for refractory Crohn’s disease patients.”
Ovasave aims to improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from refractory Crohn’s disease, which is particularly debilitating and for which there is currently no effective treatment. If the company succeeds, they may help the more 100,000 patients who develop the disease annually in Europe and in the US. According to the scientists involved in the study of Ovasave, there is currently an urgent need for more reliable solutions for refractory Crohn’s disease, which the therapy is expected to fulfill.
TxCell has also recently signed a collaboration, development and licensing agreement with Ferring International Center SA (Ferring), which has been assigned to Trizell Holding SA (Trizell), an affiliate member of the Dr. Frederik Paulsen Foundation. The agreement was made based on updates released by the company on the research progress related to Ovasave.