Transgene and French League against Cancer enter partnership

To develop new anticancer biotherapies

French biotechnology firm Transgene and Ligue contre le cancer (French League against Cancer) have signed a partnership agreement to develop new anticancer biotherapies.

The League’s Carte d’Identité des Tumeurs (CIT) initiative, established in 2000, has been focused on analysing genetic and chromosomal alterations in a range of cancers for use in the development of biomarkers or therapeutic targets linked to peculiar or tumour-specific cellular mechanisms.

The partnership between Strasbourg-based Trangene and the League aims to identify cancer-specific membrane targets from gene expression data collected by the League on more than 4,800 tumours.

Transgene’s leading anticancer target, TG4010, is based on a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the MUC1 antigen and human IL2. The product is poised to start in Phase III development for the treatment of metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in combination with first line chemotherapy.

In March 2010, Novartis negotiated an exclusive option agreement for the development and commercialisation of TG4010, as a first-line treatment for NSCLC and for other potential cancer indications.

‘Targeted therapies are at the heart of Transgene’s strategy, as shown by our TG4010 programme, now entering Phase IIb/III clinical stage, developing simultaneously two biomarkers and a therapeutic vaccine,’ said Philippe Archinard, chairman and chief executive of Transgene.