Servier, an international pharmaceutical company, and Oncodesign Precision Medicine (OPM), a subsidiary of the Oncodesign biopharmaceutical group, announced on September 22, “STarT Pancreas”, a collaborative research agreement to identify and validate new therapeutic targets for the development of new treatments for ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (PDAC).
Oncodesign, a biopharmaceutical group founded in 1995 in Dijon, France, announced on July 1 the spin-off of its Biotech activity under the name Oncodesign Precision Medicine (OPM).
The mission of this subsidiary is to provide innovative therapeutic and diagnostic solutions targeting the therapeutic resistance phenomena of certain cancers and metastatic cancers. Using AI, it has developed an innovative platform for selecting new therapeutic targets based on data obtained from patients.
This is not the first time OPM and Servier have joined forces: in March 2019, the two companies had entered into an R&D collaboration for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, which allowed them to select a preclinical drug candidate in June 2021. On September 26, Servier announced its intention to exercise its option for an exclusive license and the phase 1 study will be launched shortly.
OPM-Servier collaboration for the treatment of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is rare, although its incidence is increasing. Symptoms are not very specific and often appear at an advanced stage of the disease, which makes treatment more difficult.
In 2018 in France, pancreatic cancer was the 9th most common cancer in men and the 7th in women. There are an estimated 14,180 new cases in our country each year.
The 3-year agreement between Oncodesign Precision Medicine and Servier includes two steps:
– initial co-development, which will enable the identification of targets based on data generation from the OncoSNIPE clinical trial. The objective of the latter is to develop and implement bioinformatics approaches using methodologies based on AI, statistical learning and semantic enrichment, among others, to identify and characterize patients resistant to anti-cancer treatments in order to guide the research and development of specific therapeutic solutions through the identification of new targets;
– Experimental validation of the discoveries made by AI, which could allow Servier to initiate a drug discovery program for each of the targets selected by Servier, either on its own or in the framework of a new partnership with OPM.
Under the new collaboration agreement, Servier and OPM, through its OncoSNIPE program, will be responsible for clinical research activities. Servier will fund the associated research costs alone, while OPM and Servier will fund the target identification program.
Servier has an exclusive worldwide license option on the results of the program, which it may exercise upon identification of the targets. If Servier does not exercise the option, OPM recovers an exclusive license option on certain categories of targets.
OPM will receive an upfront payment of €0.5 million and a second payment of €0.5 million no later than December 31, 2024, subject to the achievement of certain milestones, as well as other milestone payments until the drug candidate(s) is (are) validated to enter Phase 1.
Philippe Genne, CEO and Founder of Oncodesign, concludes:
“We are very pleased with this original collaboration with the Servier Group, which is a continuation of the interactions developed over the past 25 years and is a historical partner of Oncodesign and now of OPM. This collaboration is a direct result of our investment since 2017 in AI technologies as part of the OncoSNIPE® project. This is a highly symbolic collaboration contract for OPM that validates the interest of the technological developments made over the last 5 years, it will allow us to structure and strengthen our platform and our data bank with very high quality data. OPM will be able to keep the rights to certain targets that Servier would not want to work on. We are pleased to be able to bring our innovation based on Artificial Intelligence for precision medicine.”