The start-up Imisca and Erganeo have signed an exclusive licence for the exploitation of a new gel-forming solution to reduce the recurrence rate after local treatment of colorectal cancer, improve patient survival and optimise their treatment.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers, with an estimated 1,900,000 new cases each year worldwide, and 930,000 deaths per year. Post-surgical recurrence in colon cancer patients is a major problem. For most patients, conventional chemotherapy and immunotherapy do not provide long-term control of the progression of the disease and its recurrences.
The multi-disciplinary teams of Dr Nathalie Mignet (1), Dr Robert Malafosse (2) and Pr Vincent Boudy (3), have developed a new formulation (IMS-02) in the form of a sol-gel, administrable by intra-tumoral injection after radiofrequency treatment. This injectable solution gels at body temperature and possesses bio-adhesive properties. It is stable for several days in situ and delivers immunostimulants locally. The activation of an immune response against the tumour cells as well as a memory effect has been demonstrated in a mouse model. These pre-clinical studies have also shown strong potential when IMS-02 was combined with checkpoint inhibitors. The optimisation of loco-regional treatments for these types of cancer has been demonstrated, with a reduction in the number of recurrences and an improvement in the survival rate.
Following three years of development support by Erganeo, an exclusive licence was signed between Erganeo and the start-up Imisca on 15 May 2023, for the exploitation of international patents related to the technology. The start-up, specialising in biotechnology research and development, was co-founded in 2020 by Fabrice Ruiz, a clinical development specialist, and the inventors of IMS-02.
“We are eager to begin the next key step in this pharmaceutical development, for a first human trial in 2024 ”, explained Fabrice Ruiz, President of Imisca.
“This exploitation licence is the culmination of a long collective effort involving the Erganeo teams, the researchers, the project sponsors and the partners who jointly own the innovations. It is always with a sense of pride and conviction that we transfer innovations from our local establishments into the socio-economic world, with a view to making a positive impact on the treatment of diseases as severe as colon cancer", commented Naceur Tounekti, President of Erganeo.