Sanofi and MAbImprove ‘Laboratoire d’Excellence’ (LabEx), coordinated by the Université François-Rabelais de Tours, are forming a two-year public-private partnership to develop an aerosol antibody formulation to treat patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an orphan disease for which there are no effective treatment options.
“This partnership with Sanofi recognises the expertise of our research teams following the award of the Laboratory Excellence label by the French government,” said Professor Loïc Vaillant, President of the Université de Tours. “This commitment over a two year period opens the way for major innovations in our field.”
The project is focused primarily on developing an optimal formulation for antibody inhalation to the lung. The partnership will leverage the expertise of multidisciplinary teams within the Université François-Rabelais de Tours and teams from the university’s Center for the Study of Lung Diseases (CEPR), INSERM – including Dr Nathalie Heuzé-Vourc’h – and Sanofi R&D teams at Chilly-Mazarin/Longjumeau and Vitry-sur-Seine/Alfortville in France and at Genzyme in the US.
“This alliance with the Labex MabImprove team reflects our open innovation strategy,” said Isabelle Thizon-de Gaulle, Vice President, European Strategic Initiatives & Scientific Relations, Sanofi. “Together, our innovative approach in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis brings hope for patients.”
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive, diffuse and fatal chronic lung disease. Its causes are unknown. Its prevalence ranges from 1.25 to 23.4 per 100,000 population in European countries, with average survival of three to five years following diagnosis. The poor prognosis and lack of an effective treatment necessitates development of a new bio-medicine.
Antibody inhalation offers the prospect of greater efficacy and reduced side effects from those reported for systemic administration.
- Incidence and prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: review of the literature », European respiratory review, issue 126 (2012)
- Systemic administration: through bloodstream