PARIS and BOSTON, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
First novel small molecule FimH antagonists to enter clinical development in 2016
ENTEROME Bioscience SA, a pioneer in the development of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTX) to research, develop and commercialize novel small molecule FimH antagonists for use in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Enterome plans to take the lead compound in this program, known as EB 8018, into first human clinical trials during 2016 as well as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) who will benefit from their use.
Through application of its metagenomics platform, Enterome has identified a key bacterial species - adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) - which is responsible for triggering inflammation in IBD. AIEC adheres to gut epithelial cells by virtue of FimH adhesion proteins on its cell surface, which bind to the CEACAM6 receptor on gut epithelial cells and allow the bacterial cells to invade the gut wall and proliferate. Research has shown that blocking FimH prevents the adherence and proliferation of AIEC, thereby reducing inflammation and providing new opportunities for the prevention and treatment of IBD.
"The rapid growth of evidence supporting the involvement of the microbiome in serious diseases is providing myriad new opportunities and targets for therapeutic intervention with small molecule drugs," commented Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome. "The unique insights we have gained on the roles of specific constituents of the gut microbiome brought through our metagenomics platform strongly supports the central role of AIEC in inflammatory bowel diseases. Through this in-licensing agreement we are delighted to gain access to these novel FimH antagonists including EB8018, which we intend to advance into clinical trials during 2016, and which we believe could be transformative for the management and treatment of IBD."
Enterome is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceuticals and diagnostics to support personalized therapies in microbiome-related diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), cancer and metabolic diseases.
Enterome is also leading the development of new industry standards in gut microbiome quantitative and functional analysis. This technology leadership allows Enterome to open up the new field of therapeutic target discovery in the microbiome in order to address significant unmet medical needs.
Enterome has established partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutes, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation/Janssen Biotech, Takeda and Abbvie in inflammatory bowel diseases; and the Mayo Clinic and Geisinger hospitals in metabolic disorders.
The Company was established in 2012 in Paris, France to develop the discoveries made by the INRA metagenomic platform. The Company has raised a total of €17.5 million from leading venture capital investors (Seventure Partners, Lundbeckfond Ventures & Omnes Capital) and two strategic investors (Shire & INRA transfer).
Additional information about Enterome is available through its website : http://www.enterome.com.
Pierre Belichard, CEO
David Dible / Mark Swallow / Marine Perrier, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
SOURCE Enterome Bioscience SA