Rhenovia files patents for new treatment of Huntington’s disease based on its innovative biosimulation platform

Rhenovia Pharma, a leading biotech company in biosimulation applied to the discovery of new medications to treat neurodegenerative, neurological and psychiatric diseases, announces today the filing of patents of a new method, a drug candidate, RHEDAR(TM) and a novel chemical series for treating Huntington’s disease (HD). RHEDAR is a significant step forward in the use of novel modes of action using Modeling and Simulation (M&S) for cost-effective drug discovery.

The new drug candidate aims to bring into equilibrium the dynamic biochemical and biophysical balances in one of the most affected brain regions in HD, the striatum. RHEDAR is available for out-licensing to the pharma and biotech industry, or for co-development with patient associations and foundations, governmental organizations or investment partners.

“Rhenovia continues to grow from strength to strength. Our latest achievement, RHEDAR, is proof of the relevance of our biosimulation technology that is showing real value as a highly efficient and cost-effective drug discovery method,” said Dr. Serge Bischoff, Rhenovia’s president and CEO. “To my knowledge, this is the first time that a drug candidate has been developed based on the discovery of a novel mode of action using M&S and we are excited by the opportunities it will offer customers and partners in the pharma and biotech industries.”

Biosimulation technology uses original datasets of experimental compounds, abandoned or approved drug candidates to uncover novel biological mechanisms affected by diseases. This enables researchers to re-profile and re-position molecules of interest into new therapeutic areas. M&S is also considered an invaluable instrument for the pharma industry to leverage past investment. The method could also allow biotechnology companies as well as patient associations and foundations to exploit the hundreds or thousands of potentially efficacious drug candidates sitting on shelves.

“By being able to discover new drugs with its innovative approach, Rhenovia has clearly demonstrated that biosimulation is a powerful approach for achieving many things. On top of optimizing drug discovery by validating targets, enhancing the efficacy of existing drug candidates and extending the life cycle of blockbusters via suitable, synergistic combinations or associations, it can also discover new drugs. That is outstanding,” said Prof. Michel Baudry, vice-president and CSO at Rhenovia.

One of the major difficulties in discovering treatments for HD, a rare, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects an estimated three to seven per 100,000 people, is the extreme complexity of the underlying biological processes. The disease disrupts these biological processes in ways that give rise to a broad spectrum of often opposing symptoms.

The complexity makes conventional experimental approaches that use animal models risky, unlike the M&S approach that can integrate the complexity and multifactor nature of rare, orphan and neglected diseases.

With its flagship compound RHEDAR, Rhenovia is progressing to the second phase of its company development. Rhenovia Pharma is strengthening its focus on offering services and partnerships to drug discovery organizations (pharma, patient foundations and government agencies) to help these organizations (as well as companies in the fields of nutrition-health and neurotoxicity) to optimize their own drugs and processes. The Rhenovia Inc. mission is to consolidate, expand and commercialize its drug candidate pipeline.

Rhenovia will be present at the BIO International Convention in Boston (June 18-21, 2012), where executives will present the drug candidate RHEDAR and discuss the progress made in extending the biosimulation platforms RHENOMS(TM) HIPP for cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and epilepsy to RHENOMS(TM) STRI for the search of treatments against HD, Parkinson’s disease, neurodevelopmental diseases and other aspects of mental, mood and motivation diseases. At EuroTox 2012, a Congress of European Societies of Toxicology in Stockholm (June 17-20, 2012), Rhenovia program directors will present applications of biosimulation to protect against neurotoxic agents and its usefulness for regulatory agencies and chemicals industries.

About Rhenovia Pharma SAS

Rhenovia Pharma SAS is a biotechnology company that is specialized in the development of innovative solutions to improve the prevention and the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the recent years, Rhenovia became a fully integrated research and development firm with technologies facilitating drug discovery and development, an emerging pipeline of drug candidates, a prototype of a unique rate controlled transdermal delivery system and a highly sensitive analytical technique of protein purification foreseen to be applied to the identification of biomarkers of drug efficacy. Rhenovia is a world leader in the biosimulation of nervous system mechanisms in support of the drug discovery process. Its unique nervous transmission modeling technology makes it possible to reproduce on a computer the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in learning, memory and a whole range of other impaired brain functions associated with neurological diseases such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and psychiatric indications such as schizophrenia and depression. Through its Rhenovia Drug Development Optimization Services (RHEDDOS) package, the company makes its technology available to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies seeking to extend the life cycle of their medicines, develop new drug combinations, or identify and validate new targets for therapeutic compounds.

Rhenovia is based in Mulhouse, France and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and employs 20 people in France, Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Its French headquarters were founded in 2007 for the purpose of developing new technologies for optimizing the drug discovery and development process in the biopharmaceutical industry. The company has raised total funding of some EUR 4.5 million to date through commercial contracts, French and European calls-for-projects and public tenders, as well as from investors (including Alsace Business Angels and SODIV, a regional venture capital fund), state agencies and seed capital funds, in addition to the equity capital provided by its founders and executive management (about 83 per cent of the capital).

About Rhenovia Inc.

Rhenovia Inc. is a fully owned subsidiary of Rhenovia Pharma incorporated in Delaware in 2012 with operations in Boston, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California. The mission of Rhenovia Inc. is to be the commercial branch of Rhenovia Pharma in North America and develop the drug discovery pipeline.