Cancer and monoclonal antibodies: “BioRéalités” acquisition by SERVIER


BioRéalités, a young innovative French biotech company, announced its acquisition by Servier. Created in February 2007, BioRéalités specializes in the development of monoclonal antibodies directed against one of the key factors of cancer relapses and thus potentially able to improve the management of several types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

BioRéalités has several drug candidates and a portfolio of patents, the fruit of 4 years of research carried out by the company, and prior work by the research team headed by Dominique Joubert and Frédéric Hollande at the Institute of Functional Genomics at Montpellier, under the joint participation of INSERM, CNRS, and the University of Montpellier.

In approximately 80% of colorectal cancers, genetic mutations lead to abnormal secretion of a specific protein. This protein is not detectable in healthy adult humans. BioRéalités used a monoclonal antibody capable of trapping this protein in animal models, and showed that it resulted in a decrease in tumor size and better control of relapses. The antibody acts only on cancerous cells, therefore enabling a targeted therapeutic approach.

Dr Emmanuel Canet, head of Servier’s R&D said Servier “was proud to be able to hasten the development of such  a truly innovative French drug. This reflectsServier’s commitment to reinforce our investment  in biotechnology research and find innovative treatments for colorectal cancer. In spite of therapeutic advances to date, current treatments provide only a partial answer to patients’ expectations in terms of halting the progression of the disease, and, of course, in terms of survival.”

Dr Stéphane Depil, in charge of Cancer R&D at Servier, said further “our aim is to develop a therapeutic antibody directed against an original protein target involved in the regulation of colorectal cancer stem cells. Other types of cancer could also benefit from this approach.”