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ElsaLys Biotech Secures EURO 2.1M

2013-05-17
LYON, FRANCE, ElsaLys Biotech, which specializes in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, announces a first round of financing of 2.1M EURO.
ElsaLys Biotech, which specializes in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, announces a first round of financing of 2.1M EURO from the biopharmaceutical company Transgene and the investment fund Sofimac Partners.

With more than 40 marketed products and 250 products under development, monoclonal antibodies are more than ever at the heart of the new arsenal of therapeutics for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Even though the production of monoclonal antibodies has become standardized, the generation of an effective antibody with an optimal profile remains a scientific challenge which requires to bring together unique skills, all present within the ElsaLys Biotech team.

In the short term, ElsaLys Biotech will focus on the development of antibodies against targets derived from academic collaborators up to characterized drug candidates with robust in vivo proof of concept. Further clinical development will be conducted through industrial partnerships.

"Our objective is to bring a first antibody drug candidate to IND enabling studies within the next three years," according to Dr Jean-Yves Bonnefoy, CEO of ElsaLys Biotech. "To reach this goal, we benefit from the following advantages: expertise and know-how of the team coming from Transgene in the field of immunotherapy, a solid experience in the domain of therapeutic antibodies, a very promising set of first-in-class targets and solid funding of the stakeholders combining technological expertise and financial means."

All co-founders of ElsaLys Biotech come from Transgene. Next to Dr Jean-Yves Bonnefoy, Dr Christine Guillen, formerly Manager of External R&D collaborations at Transgene, is the new COO of ElsaLys Biotech.

"Transgene is going through a significant investment program in TG4010, a therapeutic vaccine, and Pexa-Vec, an oncolytic immunotherapy. Through our equity investment in ElsaLys Biotech, we keep a stand in the promising field of monoclonal antibodies without changing our strategic focus," said Philippe Archinard, Chairman and CEO of Transgene.

François Miceli, Director of Investment at Sofimac Partners and co-investor indicated: "In addition to the portfolio of products of ElsaLys Biotech, we invest in a team of professionnals who have already demonstrated their competence in the cutting-edge field of therapeutic antibodies. The attractive business model of ElsaLys Biotech should allow us to reach a return on investment in a shorter term than we would expect from a more classical product development."

Laurence Le Texier, Director of Technology Transfer at the Etablissement Français du Sang declared: "We are delighted to contribute to the early stages of ElsaLys Biotech. In view of the talented team, we did not hesitate to entrust ElsaLys Biotech with the mission to develop a drug candidate for a promising pancreatic cancer target discovered by Pr. C. Borg and the EFS, Diaclone and Franche-Comt© University."

About ElsaLys Biotech

ElsaLys Biotech is an R&D start-up positioned at the interface of academic research and the pharmaceutical industry. Its mission is to convert first-in-class therapeutic targets into exploitable drug candidates. Today, the portfolio of ElsaLys Biotech is composed of 4 novel projects issued from well-known academic groups and partners such as EFS, Curie Institute, Tumor Institute of Turin and SATT-Sud Est.

Based in Lyon & Illkirch Graffenstaden, ElsaLys Biotech will benefit from unique environments within the clusters Lyon Biopole & Alsace BioValley, which are fertile for the development of biotech companies.

About Transgene

Transgene (NYSE-Euronext: TNG), a member of the Institut M©rieux Group, is a biopharmaceutical company. We create, develop and manufacture targeted immunotherapeutics for the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases. Our products are major technological breakthroughs that use well tolerated viruses to indirectly or directly kill infected or cancerous cells.

Our four most advanced products have generated proof of concept data in randomized clinical studies: in lung cancer (TG4010), liver cancer (Pexa-Vec), hepatitis C (TG4040) and HPV-related cervical lesions (TG4001). We have concluded strategic agreements for the development of three of these products: an option agreement with Novartis for the development of TG4010, an in-licensing agreement with US-based Jennerex, Inc. to develop and market Pexa-Vec and a strategic collaboration with EORTC to develop TG4001 in cancer of the oropharynx. We also have a non-exclusive agreement with Sanofi/Genzyme for the future commercial production of our products. Most of our 280 employees are based in Strasbourg, France, and we have operations in Lyon, China and the USA. Additional information about Transgene is available at http://www.transgene.fr/

About Sofimac Partners

Sofimac Partners is a France-based fund management partnership that accompanies the growth of private small and medium businesses in the medium and long terms, thanks to a broad panel of investment vehicles suited to all stages of development of the companies (creation, initial development, capital growth and transmission, recovery). Since 1977, over 360 SMBs in a variety of technology and general sectors have thus been accompanied by a team of experienced investors. With its network of institutional and private subscribers, amongst which CDC Enterprise, Sofimac Partners presently managers 230 million euros of assets, through 18 funds, invested in 109 companies. Additional information about Sofimac Partners at http://www.sofimacpartners.com
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