FRANCE – Biomunex Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that develops cutting-edge immunotherapeutics, and Institut Curie, France’s leading cancer center, have announced a new chapter in their strategic cancer research collaboration.

Based on Biomunex’s proprietary BiXAb technology, they will collaborate on the development of a breakthrough immunotherapy drug candidate for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Gerard, CEO and founder of Biomunex, said: “Our next generation BiXAb platform and expert know-how in anticancer immunotherapy, together with the expertise in T cell biology of the Institut Curie team, provide great synergistic opportunities in the development of innovative anticancer immunotherapeutics for patients.

He added that: ‘We are thrilled to pursue this historical collaboration with Institut Curie using our BiXAb platform, to discover new immunotherapies in oncology.”

The approach of immune cell redirection has resulted in significant advances in cancer immunotherapy. More than 80 bispecific antibodies based on this approach are currently being developed, with the majority of them utilizing CD3-based T-cell redirection.

This promising technique is being studied extensively because it can be applied to a wide range of cancer types.

However, this approach has many limitations, including cytokine release syndrome, which is one of the most serious side effects of this therapy, dose-limiting toxicity, and limited clinical activity in solid tumors.

The BiXAb platform that enables to generate any bi- and multi-specific antibodies from any pair of monoclonals, in a straightforward, fast (less than 2 months) and cost-effective fashion, has been validated by out-licensing and collaboration deals with pharmaceutical companies.

Overcoming immunotherapy challenges

In recent years, Biomunex and Institut Curie have formed two collaborations to overcome constraints in anti-cancer immunotherapeutics.

BiXAb’s platform enables assessment of the potential of a unique subpopulation of non-conventional T cells to be redirected to kill cancer cells based on its unique bi- and multi-specific antibody technology capacity.

Indeed, when applied to the non-conventional T cell redirection approach, the ‘Plug-and-Play’ BiXAb technology platform, for which deals were established with Sanofi in 2019 and Onward Therapeutics in 2021, paves the way for safer and more efficacious disruptive immunotherapeutics.

A collaboration between Biomunex and the Institut Curie’s Cancer Immunotherapy Center (INSERM, Institut Curie) led by Dr. Sebastian Amigorena and Institut Curie’s Clinical Immunology Laboratory led by Dr. Olivier Lantz resulted in the identification of a novel, one-of-a-kind therapeutic approach.

The collaboration will continue, with the goal of entering clinical development for this first candidate within the next 24 months.

Biomunex’ best-in-class platform will certainly allow us to uncover the full potential of this non-conventional T cell redirection approach and translate it into new immunotherapeutic treatments,” said Dr. Sebastian Amigorena and Dr Olivier Lantz.

The disruptive innovation brought by this unique non-conventional T cell redirection approach was also demonstrated when it received close to €3 million (US$3.5M) in grants from the French government as part of the ‘Grand Défi Biomédicament’ scheme, which was the largest grant awarded under the scheme in November 2021.

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