Bio-Sourcing, Ciloa and Intract Pharma launch €3.4m EU project in inflammatory indications

Published: 28-May-2024

AB-BIOBETTER, led by Bio-Sourcing, to pioneer the development of new oral formulation of adalimumab for inflammatory bowel diseases

Bio-Sourcing, with partners Ciloa and Intract Pharma, have announced the launch of a €3.4m EU-funded programme, including €1.9m in subsidies from EUREKA Eurostars.

The three-year AB-BIOBETTER project aims to develop an oral antibody treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as for other systemic immunology indications.

Bio-Sourcing, a Belgian biotechnology company developing a new platform for the sustainable production of a new generation of biotherapeutics, is the lead coordinator of the project.

Its partners are Ciloa, a French preclinical stage biotechnology company and pioneer in the field of exosomes (a subpopulation of extracellular vesicles (EV)) bioengineering, and Intract Pharma, a UK developer of disruptive oral antibody delivery solutions.

AB-BIOBETTER was selected during the Eurostars call for projects. It aims to develop a daily pill-based version of adalimumab, an anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of patients with inflammatory diseases, including IBD.

The goal is to offer a practical, less invasive and less expensive alternative to the subcutaneous injections currently used, with equal or even improved efficacy.

“We are delighted to work with Ciloa and Intract Pharma on this pioneering project in the oral delivery of monoclonal antibodies, as recognised by the European Union."

"Combined with the intrinsic benefits of our technological platform, it will make these essential medicines even more accessible, especially for low- and middle- income countries which are currently deprived of them,” said Bertrand Merot, CEO and founder of Bio-Sourcing.

AB-BIOBETTER aims to meet this challenge by combining cutting-edge technologies from Bio-Sourcing, Ciloa and Intract Pharma. Bio-Sourcing's BioMilk platform enables the production of an adalimumab biobetter — a new and improved version of existing biologics — in industrial quantities.

It should cost ten times less than conventional monoclonal antibodies. The generation of antibodies formulated in milk-derived extracellular vesicles could potentially be better suited to oral delivery. Thus, Bio-Sourcing’s platform offers competitive and disruptive advantages for antibody therapeutics. 

Ciloa brings to the project its expertise in extracellular vesicle bioengineering, which will enable accurate and effective oral administration of the drug. Intract Pharma will contribute with its precision gut delivery and antibody stabilisation technologies, allowing for the oral delivery of biotherapeutics. 

The 3-year long project aims to preclinically validate the product and the platform and to bring the product up to the IND-enabling studies stage.

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