Rhenovia Pharma SAS, a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the development of technologies to optimize the discovery and development of drugs for Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, announces that it has been named leader of RHENEPI, a EUR 2.5 million (USD 3.75M) project.
The goals of RHENEPI are to develop and obtain experimental validation for an epilepsy biosimulation platform that can be used for the discovery of new antiepileptic drugs and the optimization of existing drugs.
Rhenovia will lead a consortium consisting of two life science companies and two academic laboratories. SynapCell, a contract research organization from the Grenoble area in France specialized in testing of antiepileptic drugs in in vivo animal models, will work alongside Rhenovia. The two laboratories involved are the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle (IGF), Montpellier, under Dr Laurent Fagni, and the Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences (GIN), Grenoble, led by Dr Antoine Depaulis.
This will be the first time a platform has been constructed to simulate erratic neuronal transmission leading to epileptic seizures. The platform will test novel basic molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with epilepsy and aims to rationalize the clinical practice of drug combination therapy in this field.
“RHENEPI gives a significant boost to Rhenovia’s finances, allowing us to hire six more researchers, and grow the company,” said Serge Bischoff, CEO of Rhenovia Pharma. “What is more, it implies the expansion of our already operational platform, RHENOMS monosynapse, to a multiple synapse and integrated neuron platform. This will allow us to extend Rhenovia’s service offer to almost all diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system as well as to identify the safety and toxicity risks of any kind of pharmaceutical treatment associated with a disruption of excitation/inhibition homeostasis.”
The contract was awarded by a number of bodies including the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, Alsace BioValley and Lyon Biopole, two clusters designated by the French government as internationally competitive. It covers a three-year period and will be financed in part by grants from the French state innovation fund, FUI (Fonds Unique Interministériel), the Alsace Region, the city of Mulhouse and its surrounding area, and the Rhone Alpes Region. Rhenovia and SynapCell will provide the balance of the required funds.
RHENEPI was selected from 226 projects competing for funding based on its innovative character, its impact on local economies especially in job creation and its applicability in new markets. RHENEPI will also benefit from having received official recognition as a project with considerable potential. This means it will be eligible for favorable treatment by the administration.