Genoscience Pharma Licenses GNS561, its PPT-1 Inhibitor, to GENFIT in Cholangiocarcinoma Indication in US/Canada and Europe
Genoscience Pharma, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing unique lysosomotropic drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, auto-immune and infectious diseases through autophagy modulation, announces today the licensing of its PPT-1 inhibitor, GNS561, in cholangiocarcinoma indication, to GENFIT (Nasdaq and Euronext: GNFT), a late-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with metabolic and chronic liver diseases. GENFIT will develop and commercialize investigational treatment with GNS561 in cholangiocarcinoma, in the United States, Canada and Europe, including the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Under the agreement, GENFIT is committed to taking a €3 million ($3.4M) equity stake in Genoscience Pharma through the subscription of new ordinary shares. GENFIT will also contribute clinical and regulatory milestone payments and tiered royalties (financial terms not disclosed). The first payable milestone is contingent on positive results from the phase 2 clinical trial in cholangiocarcinoma, which is expected to start in the first half of 2022.
GNS561 is a novel clinical-stage autophagy/PPT1 inhibitor developed by Genoscience Pharma in cholangiocarcinoma indication, which is an orphan disease. The inhibitor has completed preclinical studies and a phase 1b trial confirming the rationale for targeting cholangiocarcinoma, a rare liver malignancy with high mortality and with limited treatment options.
“This is a great step for the development of GNS561 as a new potential treatment option in liver cancer, as it offers an innovative mechanism of action for patients with high unmet needs,” said Philippe Halfon, CEO of Genoscience Pharma. “We believe that GENFIT is a highly qualified partner for the development of GNS561 in cholangiocarcinoma and we will provide GENFIT with our expertise in oncology to support their development plan. On our side, we will pursue the development of GNS561 in other oncology indications as well as research in other therapeutic areas.”
“This decision fully aligns with our strategic roadmap by broadening our asset portfolio within our cholestatic disease franchise, through the addition of an innovative drug candidate with the potential to address considerable unmet needs for patients,” said Pascal Prigent, CEO of GENFIT. “The scientific rationale, together with preclinical and clinical evidence, supports further development of the asset, and our plan is to start the phase 2 program in the first half of 2022. We believe that GNS561’s mechanism of action is very promising. Given the current landscape, standard of care and lack of marketed options, and based on KOL opinions, we will interact with regulatory agencies to investigate accelerated paths to approval, post phase 2.”
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