Delphi Genetics S.A., a Walloon SME located in Gosselies (Belgium) partners with US company Avaxia (Lexington, Massachusetts) to develop an improved biomolecules manufacturing and immunization process for Avaxia’s lead product candidate which is in clinical development for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
A perfect technological synergy
Avaxia leads the field of gut-targeted antibody therapeutics that are designed to act locally in the gastrointestinal tract. The company is currently developing an oral anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibody for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This transformative product is produced from the early milk of dairy cows that have been immunized with human TNF. This is where Delphi Genetics steps in.
Translating technological expertise into concrete projects
The Walloon company has developed STABY®, a technology aimed to produce DNA and proteins at high yield and without antibiotic resistance genes. Delphi Genetics brings Avaxia a unique expertise in novel DNA vaccine immunization approaches as well as other immunization technologies that have successfully generated strong antibody responses in animals.
“The collaboration with Avaxia is a good opportunity to translate our technological expertise into concrete projects with future commercialization potential”, said Cédric Szpirer, Executive & Scientific Director of Delphi Genetics.
A granted collaboration
Delphi Genetics’ partnership with Avaxia has been awarded one of the first grants through Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC)’s new Universal Partnership (UP) Program, a new and innovative model for partnerships that provides grant funding to support Massachusetts companies that are forming R&D collaborations with life science organizations throughout the world. Avaxia receives funding from the MLSC while Delphi Genetics is supported by the Region of Wallonia (DG06) as well as support by BioWin, the Health Cluster of Wallonia.
Market and prospects
If this partnership delivers good results, Avaxia could become an important client for the Walloon company which has more than one string to its bow. In 2013, Delphi Genetics completely reshaped its business model with, on the one hand, a strong diversification of the antibodies development and, on the other hand, a wide range of services supporting the clients throughout the whole R&D project process. Support services provided by Delphi Genetics can indeed go to phase II for biopharmaceutical products and to commercialization for food products.
“This strategy is giving us new development prospects with bigger market opportunities. It also allows us to fill in our projects pipeline and to create value in the longer term”, explained Cédric Szpirer.
It is worth pointing out that the technologies developed by Delphi Genetics are consistent with the recommendations of the FDA, USDA and EMA regarding the removal of antibiotic resistance genes for both human and animal uses. They were validated and licensed to several companies active in the food or pharmaceutical industry, including Sanofi-Pasteur, GSK and Merck MSD. The Walloon SME, which is one of the top 3 European leaders in its field of expertise, is willing to expand its activities in the US. “This project with Avaxia is a very promising and we hope it will open us new doors in the future and maybe let us consider the opening a subsidiary in the US …”,
Delphi Genetics announced on Tuesday, March 10th, the closing of a capital increase in excess of 1 Million EUR to support its latest development in “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)” services for protein and DNA productions, especially engineered for small/medium scale needs. Read press release
Cédric Szpirer, PhD
Founder, Executive & Scientific Director
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : +32 71 37 85 25