The start-up, IPCure, and Erganeo have signed a licence agreement for the exclusive exploitation of a new type of compounds for the treatment of certain diseases with an inflammatory component.
A number of research teams around the world have established that Caspase-2, an enzyme whose role had long remained mysterious, is a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of a number of diseases with an inflammatory component, such as Alzheimer's disease and obesity-related metabolic pathologies such as fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or its most aggressive form called NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). The team led by Etienne Jacotot, research director at INSERM, has developed innovative drug candidates capable of strongly and very selectively inhibiting Caspase-2. Selective inhibition of this enzyme at the brain level protects synapses from degeneration and restores memory in Alzheimer's disease-related models. Selective inhibition of Caspase-2 also reduces triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood and liver, prevents liver dysfunction and reduces damage (fibrosis) in several animal models of NASH.
The project was matured by Erganeo and two patents have been filed (INSERM, CNRS, Université Paris Cité, Sorbonne University). The i-Lab prize was then awarded to it by the Secrétariat Général pour l'Investissement (SGPI) and Bpifrance in 2022.
Thanks to this support, the start-up, IPCure, was founded by the project leader, Etienne Jacotot, at the start of 2023, prior to the signing of an exclusive exploitation licence with Erganeo on 24 March 2023. "By signing this licence, IPCure aims to develop products up to the early clinical stages (phases I and II), and then pass the baton on to the pharmaceutical industry ," explains Etienne Jacotot.
Naceur Tounekti, President of Erganeo, adds: "This promising medical target opens up a new avenue for the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases for which there is a strong medical need. The SATT contributed to the development of the project by providing investment, support and expertise over a number of years. We have confidence in the potential of the start-up, IPCure, which has the shared ambition of passing its innovations on for the benefit of patients and the medical world.”
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