NeuroVive (STO:NVP) is extending its collaboration with Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) and Professor Ovize, which broadens the scope of NeuroVive's cardiovascular business area and creates the right conditions for the company to retain its leading position in mitochondrial medicine. The new collaboration agreement, designated OPeRA (Organ Protection & Replacement Institute), includes pre-clinical research and development programs as well as clinical phase II programs, providing NeuroVive with access to medical technology and patient groups for the evaluation of its drug candidates.
NeuroVive began its collaboration with HCL, and the ongoing phase III study in CicloMulsion in Europe, in 2011. Research into CicloMulsion's efficacy beyond the treatment of reperfusion injury following heart attack grew out of the concept of mitochondrial protection in connection with organ injury focusing on heart disease. The OPeRA program has received financial backing from the French government and from several industry players including NeuroVive and covers the period up until 2018. The program encompasses a number of different medical areas and is based on multidisciplinary programs in diabetes, metabolic disorders, transplantation, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions and infectious diseases.
By becoming an industrial partner in the OPeRA program, NeuroVive has secured access to a unique scientific platform in mitochondrial medicine where its already developed cyclophilin inhibitors such as CicloMulsion, and new drug candidates, can be studied in various animal models for efficacy against cardiovascular diseases before being tested in humans. The clinical studies program at HCL plans to study CicloMulsion in several phase II studies with the intention of generating proof of concept, i.e. demonstrating CicloMulsion's efficacy in a smaller patient group before a decision is made to move on to a larger phase II study. A number of phase II studies in CicloMulsion are scheduled in the period up until 2018.
The partnership under the OPeRA program not only gives NeuroVive the rights to the projects directly covered by the collaboration with HCL, but also provides access to research findings for potential commercial development across all areas of the program.
"The collaboration with HCL in Lyon has been extremely positive, and we now perceive commercial benefits from extending the number of indications in the cardiovascular area for CicloMulsion, based on a highly developed pre-clinical platform and the potential for completing several phase II studies," commented NeuroVive's CEO Mikael Brönnegård.