ELF collaboration brings French biotech CELLIPSE one step closer to cancer treatment

14 March 2018

After receiving its Qualified Hit List last year, the biotech company CELLIPSE has been successfully working together with the European Lead Factory (ELF) on their Improved Hit List.

CELLIPSE is dedicated to bringing innovative therapies to cancer patients, by developing a first-in class kinase inhibitor for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Fabrice Paublant, CEO of CELLIPSE talks vividly about the potential advantage of their research: ‘Complementing the current anti-leukaemia arsenal with an inhibitor of this protein would have an impact in terms of survival, but also specifically in relapse prevention by suppressing leukemic residual disease.’ 

CELLIPSE was the first French organisation that submitted a target to be screened by the European Lead Factory. This target is a kinase with a pivotal role in the cytoskeleton dynamics. The cytoskeleton is involved in the cell division and proliferation of cancer. Screening this target against the compounds in the Joint European Compound Library during the Qualified Hit List (QHL) phase lead to finding chemical matter that was clearly different from what they had found before. For a small biotech company like CELLIPSE it is important to find a back-up compound, which gives credibility, validation and value to its drug discovery programme. The results strengthened CELLIPSE’s lead candidate portfolio of kinase inhibitors.

CELLIPSE got the opportunity to continue its collaboration with the European Lead Factory in the so-called Improved Hit List (IHL) phase. Dr Renaud Prudent, Chief Operating Officer of CELLIPSE is satisfied with the accomplished results: ‘We have made quite some progress during this phase. In collaboration with the ELF team, we got compounds with better affinity and kinase specificity.’ He continues: ‘Before starting animal studies, we will work on better characterizing the compounds in terms of efficacy on cell lines and patient blasts as well as metabolic stability. Without the European Lead Factory this would not have been possible’.

Read the testimonial of Fabrice Paublant here.

The three co-founders of Cellipse Fabrice Paublant, Dr Laurence Lafanechère, and Dr Renaud Prudent.

Photo: The three co-founders of Cellipse Fabrice Paublant, Dr Laurence Lafanechère, and Dr Renaud Prudent. Courtesy of Cellipse.