GeNeuro enters in clinical phase
For all biotech start-ups no development steps are more truly symbolic than the launch of a clinical trial in humans. GeNeuro, based in Plan-les-Ouates near Geneva, is now about to enter that phase. GeNeuro was founded in 2006 with the collaboration of bioMérieux, a French company developing diagnostics and Eclosion, a Swiss start-up incubator which helps the development of projects in life sciences. Since then, it has been focusing on the development of therapeutic molecules, more specifically monoclonal antibodies.
For sure, it is not the only biotech company to be involved in this field, but its prime target is utterly different: human endogenous retroviruses. Those are retroviruses stemming from ancient viral infections of human germline, passed on in the genes to the next generation and then eventually remaining in the human genome. For nearly twenty years, these sequences have been suspected to be able to reactivate during an infection due to other viruses. “We believe one of these endogenous retroviruses to be a causal factor of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)”, says GeNeuro CEO François Curtin. “We have developed animal models that support this theory. Our monoclonal antibody has proven to be effective on these same animal models.” Primitive genes
With existing drugs which mainly delay neurological damages and disability caused by Multiple Sclerosis, it is obviously time for the clinical trial to begin. It is scheduled for early next year. The initial clinical study will be performed in healthy volunteers and patients in order to test the tolerability of the drug and its pharmacokinetics.