LYON, France & CHARLEROI, Belgium—This summer saw Alma Bio Therapeutics SAS and Delphi Genetics SA announce that they would take their strategic alliance to develop plasmid DNA drugs “to the next level.”
Alma focuses on developing therapies to cure autoimmune diseases. It is tackling Crohn’s disease, one of the two major types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as its first clinical application. Currently prescribed IBD treatments aim to manage disease symptoms; they suppress inflammation and extend intervals between flare-ups, improving the patients’ quality of life. Alma’s treatments go beyond the symptoms, treating the underlying cause of autoimmune disease without suppressing the function of the immune system.
Alma and Delphi Genetics have been collaborating since 2014 on generating a plasmid DNA drug for Alma’s preclinical efficacy studies. Under the terms of this alliance, Delphi Genetics will produce the plasmid DNA drugs needed to advance Alma’s pipeline and complete the regulatory studies necessary to submit an IND application to the FDA.
“Delphi Genetics is an ideal partner. It has scientific excellence, high-quality bio-production services and an established track record with big pharma,” said Binah Baum, CEO of Alma. “We are delighted with the strong vote of confidence its management has given our game-changing therapeutic approach to treating autoimmune diseases. With their expertise, we believe our program to demonstrate safety and efficacy of our therapies in patients should move rapidly.”
This partnership places Alma in a stronger position to attract longer-term investment with the aim of preparing entry into a Phase 1 clinical trial for Crohn’s disease in the second half of 2018. It gains access to Delphi Genetics’ bioproduction manufacturing capabilities, including Staby, its antibiotic-free plasmid DNA production technology.