ImmuPharma to access pioneering research in the Bordeaux region of France

27th June 2014 - 9:33 am

ImmuPharma PLC (LSE:IMM), (“ImmuPharma” or the “Company”), the specialist drug discovery and development company, is delighted to provide further details on its activities in the Bordeaux region of France, working closely with one of its key collaborators at the CNRS*, ImmuPharma’s longstanding research partner, accessing novel drug research in the area of peptides.

One key relationship for Bordeaux is with the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie (IECB) an international and interdisciplinary research team incubator, placed under the joint authority of the CNRS, INSERM  (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale)* and the University of Bordeaux*.
Through its network, IECB hosts 15 international and multi-disciplinary research teams among them being the CNRS team of Dr Gilles Guichard, one of the scientific founders of ImmuPharma, and a leading researcher in peptides. Additionally, one of ImmuPharma’s fully owned subsidiaries, ‘UREKA’ a pharmaceutical R&D unit, has its new internal research team based at the IECB.
ImmuPharma recently announced at its Preliminary Results that the long standing collaboration with the CNRS under Dr. Gilles Guichard and UREKA had resulted in the filing of a new co-owned patent controlling a breakthrough peptide technology called ‘Urelix’, allowing in essence to mimic long natural peptides especially in the configuration used to bind their receptor and improve their stability to enzymatic degradation (breakdown of peptides into aminoacids) as well as greater efficacy.  The first therapeutic area being targeted is diabetes (with GLP1* and GIP* as targets).  Blocking the protein/protein interaction could also be used in fighting viruses (blocking virus entry into cells) which could be further investigated.  The potential of this technology is substantial and diverse and is one of the key reasons UREKA has established its own research team (some provided from Dr. Guichard’s laboratory or from other prestigious Universities such as ETH Zurich) and working in close collaboration with Dr. Guichard and his CNRS team.
Within this collaboration the IECB having its incubator on the campus of University of Bordeaux, has provided ImmuPharma with access to state of the art laboratories and a number of scientists.
Dr Robert Zimmer, ImmuPharma’s President and Chief Scientific commented: “We are delighted to have extended our research capabilities in setting up our own research team within the IECB laboratories in collaboration with the CNRS team of Dr. Gilles. We have also filed the patents covering the unique peptide technology platform (Urelix). The utilisation within our own premises, with the potential financial support of the French Aquitaine Region, will be integral to our ongoing strategy of keeping R&D costs low while focusing more on applied research.  Importantly, the new discovery represents a powerful applied research engine to discover innovative and powerful medicines, mirroring the success ImmuPharma has already demonstrated with our patented peptide for Lupuzor.”
ImmuPharma will be hosting its Annual General Meeting later today at 11:00am at the offices of Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, 50 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BL.
*Notes to Editors
CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
CNRS is Europe’s largest fundamental research institution. It was founded in 1939 and is a government-funded research organization, under the administrative authority of France’s Ministry of Research and has over 30,000 employees and an annual budget of over €3 billion. The CNRS has received many prestigious awards and has produced 17 Nobel laureates and 11 Fields Medal award winners.
About University of Bordeaux
University of Bordeaux is an association of higher education institutions, recently merged,  in and around Bordeaux, France. Its current incarnation was established 21 March 2007. The University is the largest system of higher education schools in south-western France.
Its research activities contributes to the great medical and scientific advances of the 21st century and structured around 5 key disciplines: neurosciences; public health, society; fundamental biology, with applications to medicine; integrative biology and ecology; health technologies. Research at the University goes well beyond the national framework and its researchers are involved in numerous European and international programmes. In the Campus plan for the future of University of Bordeaux, the biological health division has been identified as one of the site’s ‘centres of excellence’. This will include close collaboration with the national research organisations  (CNRS, INSERM, INRA, INRIA), with technology device platforms and shared infrastructures, making Bordeaux one of France’s leading centres of biomedical research.
IECB – Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie 
IECB is an international and interdisciplinary research team incubator, placed under the joint authority of the CNRS, INSERM and the University of Bordeaux.
It was created in 1998 with the support of the Aquitaine Regional Council and moved in 2003 into a 6500m² building, located in Pessac, on the campus of the University of Bordeaux.
Today, IECB is the largest research team incubator approved by the “Cellule Hôtels à Projets” of the CNRS. 15 research teams, accounting for almost 150 researchers, technicians and students, are working on site every day.
Support services are provided to IECB teams through the UMS3033/US001, a dedicated unit which brings together services in administration, infrastructure and informatics as well as IECB’s technology platforms in Structural Biology and Analytical and Preparative Techniques.
INSERM : The Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale 
INSERM, a French biomedical and public health research institution was created in 1964, and is a public institution with a scientific and technical vocation under the dual auspices of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Research. It was created as a successor to the French National Institute of Health.
INSERM consists of 339 research units, run by 6500 permanent staff members. Eighty percent of INSERM research units are embedded in research hospitals of French universities.
GLP-1 : Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist
Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists or GLP-1 agonists are a class of drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), enhances glucose-dependent insulin secretion following its release into the circulation from the gut. GLP-1 receptor agonists enhance glucose-dependent insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta-cell, suppress inappropriately elevated glucagon secretion, and slow gastric emptying. The GLP1 target has a market potential of more than $10bn according to an analyst report (Research and Markets August 2011).
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