Sensorion Announces the Signature of a Partnership Framework Agreement with Institut Pasteur on Gene Therapy Programs Targeting Hearing Loss
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- Published on Tuesday, 28 May 2019 09:05
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This agreement defines an exclusive option to obtain licences for joint programs including Otoferlin & Usher Type 1 and preference rights on the research pipeline in the field of genetic disorders of the inner ear in order to set up future collaborations
MONTPELLIER, France I May 27, 2019 I Sensorion (Paris:ALSEN) (FR0012596468 – ALSEN) a pioneering clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company which specialises in the development of novel therapies to restore, treat and prevent inner ear diseases such as hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo, today announces the signature of a research partnership framework agreement with Institut Pasteur (Paris) granting to Sensorion an option to obtain exclusive licenses to develop and market drug candidates in gene therapy coming from collaborative projects, for the restoration, treatment and prevention of hearing disorders.
In accordance with the letter of intent announced the 23rd of November 2018, Sensorion and Institut Pasteur have leveraged the last six months to reach a partnership framework agreement. This agreement provides for, after completion of a research program, an exclusive option to obtain licences. The terms of the licences are predefined for two specific programs aiming at correcting hereditary monogenic forms of deafness including Usher Type 1 and deafness caused by a mutation of the gene encoding Otoferlin. As for the other projects in the field of hereditary monogenic forms of deafness, the terms of the licences will be negotiated in light of the results of the research programs. Lastly, Sensorion has preference rights on Institut Pasteur’s research programs in the field of genetic inner ear diseases in order to set up collaborations.
In the event of a change of control of Sensorion that has not been approved by the Sensorion Board of Directors, Institut Pasteur has the right to terminate the partnership framework agreement.
The Genetics and Physiology of the Hearing Unit of Institut Pasteur, led by Professor Christine Petit, has developed world-class expertise over the last 25 years in the molecular physiology and physiopathology of the hearing system. Recent advances have led to the development of gene therapy programs to treat monogenic form of inner ear diseases. Researchers, including the Institut Pasteur team, have managed to restore hearing in a mouse model of DFNB9 (Otoferlin) deafness, a hearing disorder that is one of the most common cases of congenital genetic deafness. This work was published in a prestigious scientific journal1.
“I am particularly pleased by this agreement signed between Institut Pasteur and Sensorion. It will allow us to transform our scientific progress into innovations for the benefit of patients, whether it is by contributing to create new diagnostic tools, improving patients’ healthcare pathway or developing curative treatments for hearing disorders,” says Professor Christine Petit. Professor Christine Petit, MD, PhD, who chairs Sensorion’s Scientific Advisory Board, is an internationally renowned geneticist and neurobiologist in the field of hearing.
“We believe that the scientific work undertaken by Christine Petit’s teams is of great interest for public health and for the foundations of a field that is unfortunately of increasing concern. We are delighted to work with Sensorion, a dynamic French company with the strengths to allow Institut Pasteur to fulfil one of its missions, i.e. to transform its first-class academic research into products aiding patients alongside socio-economic partners,” states Dr Isabelle Buckle, Head of Research Applications and Industrial Relations at Institut Pasteur.
“This agreement confirms Sensorion’s strategic relationship with the internationally renowned scientists from Institut Pasteur and I am very pleased about this. This is a great milestone for Sensorion, that enables us to develop the broadest pipeline with therapeutic solutions to Prevent, Treat and Restore inner ear diseases. In addition to the two drug candidates in development, SENS-111 and SENS-401, we are now adding innovative drug candidates in gene therapy allowing us to offer relevant medical solutions to treat disabling inner ear diseases,” comments Nawal Ouzren, Sensorion CEO.
Sensorion is a pioneering clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, which specializes in the development of novel therapies to restore, treat and prevent inner ear diseases such as hearing loss, vertigo and tinnitus. Our clinical-stage portfolio includes two phase 2 products: Seliforant (SENS-111) under investigation for acute unilateral vestibulopathy and Arazasetron (SENS-401) for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). We have built a unique R&D technology platform to expand our understanding of the physiopathology and etiology of inner ear related diseases enabling us to select the best targets and modalities for drug candidates. We also identify biomarkers to improve diagnosis and treatment of these underserved illnesses.
We are uniquely placed through our platforms and pipeline of potential therapeutics to make a lasting positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people with inner ear related disorders; a significant global unmet need in medicine today.
About the Institut Pasteur
The Institut Pasteur, a non-profit foundation with recognized charitable status set up by Louis Pasteur in 1887, is today an internationally renowned center for biomedical research with a network of 32 institutes worldwide. In the pursuit of its mission to prevent and control diseases in France and throughout the world, the Institut Pasteur operates in four main areas: research, public health, education and training, and development of research applications. More than 2,500 people work on its Paris campus. The Institut Pasteur is a globally recognized leader in infectious diseases, microbiology, and immunology. Other avenues of investigation include cancer, genetic and neurodegenerative diseases, genomics and developmental biology. This research aims to expand our knowledge of the living world in a bid to lay the foundations for new prevention strategies and novel therapeutics. Since its inception, 10 Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, including two in 2008 for the 1983 discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.
1 Dual AAV-mediated gene therapy restores hearing in a DFNB9 mouse model. PNAS 2019 116 (10): 4496-450 Akil O., Dyka, Calvet C., Emptoz A., Lahlou G, Nouaille S, Boutet de Monvel J., Hardelin JP., Hauswirth W., Avan P., Petit C, Safieddine S., and Lustig L. Press release https://www.pasteur.fr/en/press-area/press-documents/gene-therapy-durably-reverses-congenital-deafness-mice