Hybrigenics and Servier enter into a licence and research collaboration agreement in oncology and other therapeutic fields

Hybrigenics (ALHYG), a bio-pharmaceutical company listed on Alternext (NYSE-Euronext) in Paris, and Servier, the largest French privately-owned pharmaceutical company, announces today that they have signed a licence and research collaboration agreement in the field of deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) applied to oncology, neurology, psychiatry, rheumatology, ophthalmology, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Hybrigenics will identify and validate new targets among DUBs in these therapeutic areas. Hybrigenics will also screen potential therapeutic agents able to modulate four undisclosed targets, already chosen as exclusive DUBs of interest under the collaboration. Servier will provide the compounds to be screened, develop the selected compounds and commercialize the approved drugs. Hybrigenics’ activities under this collaboration may also lead to the discovery of companion diagnostics, potentially needed for such therapeutic drugs.

During the three years of collaboration, Hybrigenics will receive an upfront payment and research funding totalling EUR four million. Depending on the achievement of pre-defined research, development and registration milestones, Hybrigenics is further eligible to receive payments amounting to EUR 9.5 million for each target successfully leading to registration of a new drug, and to royalties on sales of companion diagnostic kits.

“We are delighted to see Hybrigenics’ expertise and know-how based on our pioneer research position in the field of DUBs recognized by this collaboration in various therapeutic areas” said Frédéric Colland, PhD, Director of Hybrigenics’ Research. “We look forward to joining our forces with Servier to discover first-in-class breakthrough new drugs. Hybrigenics’ own research efforts will now explore the potential therapeutic role of DUBs outside the fields of this collaboration,” added Rémi Delansorne, DVM, PhD, Hybrigenics’ CEO.

“The inhibition of DUBs is a very innovative approach to stimulate the degradation of specific intra-cellular proteins, with a clear potential impact in treating cancer and possibly many other diseases. We are very pleased to initiate such collaboration with Hybrigenics, one of the world pioneers in this domain,” said Bernard Marchand, PhD, head of Servier Research.

About deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) and ubiquitin-specific proteases (USPs)

Ubiquitins are small intracellular regulatory <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_protein>  peptide <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein> which, when attached by ligases to proteins, label them mainly for destruction by the proteasome present in each living cell. DUBs can remove ubiquitins from proteins, preventing them from degradation: DUBs are “protein-recycling” enzymes. The class of USPs is part of the wider family of DUBs.

Since 2004, Hybrigenics has focused its internal research on USPs which can recycle oncoproteins, the proteins involved in cancer initiation or progression. Inhibiting such USPs results in the forced degradation of oncoproteins and therefore in a totally new anticancer mechanism of action. Hybrigenics has published 16 peer-reviewed scientific articles/reviews on the subject, and filed five patent families of USP inhibitors.

About Hybrigenics

Hybrigenics (http://www.hybrigenics.com) is a bio-pharmaceutical company listed (ALHYG) on Alternext (NYSE-Euronext) in Paris, focusing its internal R&D programs on innovative targets and therapies for the treatment of proliferative cancerous or non-cancerous diseases.

Hybrigenics’ current development program is based on inecalcitol, a vitamin D receptor agonist, for the first-line treatment of metastastic castrate-resistant prostate cancer in combination with Taxotere(R), which is the current gold-standard chemotherapeutic treatment for this indication. Inecalcitol is also being developed to treat moderate-to-severe psoriasis by oral administration.

Hybrigenics’ research program has been exploring the role of enzymes known as ubiquitin-specific proteases (USP) in the degradation of onco-proteins, and the potential effectiveness of proprietary USP inhibitors in treating various types of cancer.

Hybrigenics Services SAS, a fully-owned subsidiary, is the market leader in Yeast Two-Hybrid (Y2H) and related services to identify, validate and inhibit protein interactions for researchers in all areas of life sciences, using its ISO 9001-certified high-throughput Y2H screening platform, its sophisticated bioinformatics tools and extensive database, along with its chemical library and chemical screening platform

About Servier

Servier is a privately-run French research-based pharmaceutical company with a 2010 turnover of EUR 3.7 billion. Servier invests 25 per cent of its turnover in R&D. Current therapeutic domains for Servier medicines are cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, psychiatric and bone and joint diseases as well as oncology.  Servier is established in 140 countries worldwide with over 20,000 employees.  More info at: http://www.servier.com