July 5, 2013. CEA-Leti has announced €1 million in funding from bpifrance to accelerate preclinical development of a liver-cancer detection system called LipImage 815.
The grant, awarded through bpifrance’s Strategic Industrial Innovation (ISI) program, will accelerate the development of LipImage 815, including production and regulatory toxicity evaluation. It also supports the launch of NICE (Nano Innovation for Cancer), the first consortium of nanomedicine stakeholders in France focused on aspects of characterization and industrialization. The consortium has been accredited by the Medicen Paris Region, a competitive cluster for innovative therapies in Ile-de-France (www.medicen.org).
Developed by Leti, LipImage 815 is a fluorescent imaging agent based on Leti’s Lipidots platform that uses lipid nanoparticles to carry a fluorescent substance to targeted cells and improve the effectiveness of diagnosis. It will be used to test for early stages of liver cancer.
Consisting of five public and private partners and led by BioAlliance Pharma, the NICE consortium includes partners with deep expertise in the field of nanomedicine. Its mission is to build a platform to accelerate the development and industrialization of nanomedicine in France by capitalizing on the strong and complementary expertise of each partner.
In addition to Leti, the consortium includes
- BioAlliance Pharma, developer of Livatag, a doxorubicin nanoparticle currently in phase III clinical trial for treatment of primary liver cancer;
- Nanobiotix, developer of NBTXR3, a potentiator of radiation therapy in the local treatment of cancer;
- DBI, a company specialized in the production of nanomedicine pharmaceutical products; and
- Institut Galien Paris Sud (University Paris Sud/CNRS), which has an academic-excellence team specialized in nanoparticles research.
“By bringing together a highly experienced team of specialists in various fields of nanomedicine, this program can significantly accelerate the development of an effective new tool for diagnosing liver cancer,” said Laurent Malier, Leti CEO. “It also leverages Leti’s achievements in the Lipidots platform and provides another avenue for us to bring our innovations to market.”
About bpifrance’s Strategic Industrial Innovation (ISI) Program
The Strategic Industrial Innovation program promotes the emergence of European champions. It supports ambitious, innovative collaborative projects through to industrialization, driven by innovative medium-sized companies (less than 5,000 employees) and small businesses (less than 250 employees). These highly promising projects are aimed at the commercialization of products that result from technological breakthroughs and that would not be possible without fostering measures from the public sector. Funding is generally in the €3 to €10 million range, as grants-in-aid and loans that are repayable if the project is a success.
Leti is an institute of CEA, a French research-and-technology organization with activities in energy, IT, healthcare, defense, and security. Leti is focused on creating value and innovation through technology transfer to its industrial partners. It is specialized in nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology, healthcare, and photonics. NEMS and MEMS are at the core of its activities. An anchor of the MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m² of state-of-the-art clean room space on 200-mm and 300-mm wafer platforms. It employs 1,700 scientists and engineers including 320 PhD students and 200 assignees from partner companies. CEA-Leti owns more than 2,200 patent families.