CASTRES and PARIS, France March 21, 2017 – Pierre Fabre, the second largest privately held pharmaceutical company in France, and H-Immune SAS, an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing first in class immunotherapies for treatment of various cancers, today announced that they have entered into a strategic research partnership which will utilize H-Immune’s unique technology platform to generate lead candidates of fully human antibodies to serve as the initial step in a program to develop immuno-oncology therapeutics.
As a newly established bioscience company in the immuno-oncology field and spin out from the French Atomic Energy Commission, H-Immune has developed a proprietary In Vitro Immunization (IVI) technology leveraging a breakthrough approach to generate a series of fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against any therapeutic target, taking advantage of the affinity maturation processes performed in situ by B lymphocytes.
“Pierre Fabre is an ideal partner for H-Immune to help us begin to realize the full potential of our science and IVI technology which we plan to exploit through multiple industry partnerships,” said Luc Boblet, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of H-Immune. “This collaboration is designed to catalyze and create tremendous ongoing scientific and product development synergy by leveraging each company’s strengths and assets.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Pierre Fabre will have access to H-Immune’s IVI technology for three different discovery programs in the field of immuno-oncology.
“This transaction strengthens Pierre Fabre’s position in the areas of immuno-oncology and novel cuttingedge biotherapeutics,” said Laurent Audoly, Head of R&D of Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals. “H-Immune is developing an antibody technology platform that we are looking forward to accessing as part of our ongoing efforts to identify and develop world-class novel cancer therapeutics. We believe this collaboration enhances the potential of both partners to deliver transformational therapies to patients in areas of significant unmet medical needs.”
Pierre Fabre has a longstanding commitment to development of pharmaceuticals through its Pierre Fabre Immunology Centre of excellence (CIPF) based in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, France, which is dedicated to the identification, development and manufacturing of biologics.
The financial terms of the agreement, which include expertise contribution, R&D funding, and milestone payments to H-Immune, were not disclosed.
About Pierre Fabre and its oncology expertise
Pierre Fabre is a French private pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetic company founded in 1962 by Mr. Pierre Fabre. Preliminary revenue in 2016 surpassed €2.28 billion based on sales in over 130 countries. The company is structured around two divisions: Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals (primary care, oncology, consumer health care) and Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmectics (dermatology, dermo-cosmetics). In dermocosmetics, its portfolio of 9 brands includes global market-leader Eau Thermale Avène. Pierre Fabre employs some 13,000 people worldwide and owns subsidiaries in 43 countries. In 2015, Pierre Fabre allocated about 16% of its pharmaceuticals sales to R&D with a focus on 4 therapeutic areas: oncology, dermatology, central nervous system and consumer health care.
Pierre Fabre’s oncology know-how is based on three decades of experience in the discovery, development and global commercialization of innovative cancer drugs including monoclonal antibodies and natural cytotoxic agents. The company performs its oncology R&D in two major research centers based respectively in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois (near Geneva) and on the Toulouse-Oncopole campus. The latter is officially recognized by the French government as a National Center of Excellence for cancer research.
Pierre Fabre has a unique shareholding structure that guarantees its continuity and independence. The majority shareholder is the Pierre Fabre Foundation, which is a government-recognized public-interest organization. It has also developed its employee stock ownership plan, and employees thus form the second-largest group of shareholders. This structure is unique in France and is aimed at ensuring the longterm stability of the company’s capital.
To find out more about Pierre Fabre, please go to www.pierre-fabre.com.
About Pierre Fabre Fund for Innovation
Pierre Fabre Fund for Innovation, a unique open Innovation initiative launched by Pierre Fabre in November 2015, is intended for biotech companies, start-ups and research laboratories (public or private) specializing in oncology or dermatology, two of the core therapeutic activities of Pierre Fabre R&D.
Pierre Fabre Fund for Innovation supports R&D projects either within 24 months from reaching clinical development or at early stage of clinical development. Pierre Fabre Fund for Innovation offers diverse forms of collaboration: sharing Pierre Fabre’s expertise over the full pharmaceutical value chain, cofinancing of the research program, taking minority equity participation or negotiating license agreements. The combination of diverse forms of support is also conceivable. Pierre Fabre’s support the long term will be conditioned to the reaching of key milestones in the innovation process.
Open to all international partnership opportunity, the primary goal for Pierre Fabre Fund for Innovation is to help innovative companies located in France or in Europe, at a time when many European biotech companies, startups and research laboratories often lack the internal capabilities expertise to move on from discovery to proof of concept, or lack financial resources to turn their projects into reality. Pierre Fabre’s expertise and capabilities made available to its future partners include pharmacology, new chemical entities, biotherapies, immunotherapy, translational medicine, preclinical and clinical development, production of clinical batches, market access as well as market and regulatory strategy.
Established in 2016, as a spin-out of the French Atomic Energy Commission by Co-founders Luc Boblet, PhD, (former Co-founder and CEO of PathoQuest, an Institut Pasteur spin-off) and Michel Léonetti, PhD, (an immunologist and Senior Scientist at the French Atomic Energy Commission), H-Immune develops novel fully human antibody-based therapeutics with a strong focus on immuno-oncology. The key element of H-Immune’s core technology is the leveraging of its In Vitro Immunization (IVI) platform which has a unique ability to generate a series of fully human antibodies against the entire epitope mapping of any therapeutic target by taking advantage of the affinity maturation processes performed directly in situ by B lymphocytes. H-Immune is currently deploying its proprietary platform against a novel immune check point as part of its internal pipeline development program but intends to pursue additional strategic partnerships to further leverage its powerful IVI-based discovery engine.
To find out more about H-Immune, please go to www.h-immune.com.