22 Jul 2008   |   News

Immune specialist gets loan for hepatitis C trials

Development loan

Cytheris SA, a specialist in immunotherapy, has been awarded a €1.5 million interest free loan by OSEO, France’s national agency for industrial innovation, to support its ongoing clinical development programme in hepatitis C (HCV).

The OSEO award will provide partial funding for the clinical development of th recombinant human interleukin-7 (r-hIL-7), a critical growth factor for immune T-cell recovery and enhancement. Clinical trials conducted to date on more than 75 patients in have demonstrated the potential of r-hIL-7 to expand and protect CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. Paris-based Cytheris is currently conducting multiple international clinical studies of IL-7 in HCV, HIV and cancer.

“These awards are highly competitive and we are delighted that OSEO has singled out Cytheris, not only because of the financial implications but also because the stringent criteria applied in selecting the small number of award winners bring added credibility to our innovative IL-7 investigative product and its potential therapeutic application,” said Michel Morre, President and CEO of Cytheris.

“OSEO funding previously played an instrumental role at the company's foundation in the form of a (now fully reimbursed) loan to support the initial IL-7 studies which allowed us to reach the credibility needed to attract venture capital. This new OSEO support provided for our HCV study will partially cover the manufacturing, clinical studies and personnel costs associated with the programme as well as its expansion to include additional clinical sites in Asia.”

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